Now, the bad news... the Iraqis will see this as a threat to Iraq, in that it might lead to a divided country, thereby arrousing those who believe in a united Iraq. More complicated than this, however, is that the center region of Iraq (including Baghdad) will be lead by Barbara Bodine, former Ambassador to Yemen.
Now, I'm all for women holding public office and would love to see women at the highest levels of office in our country, but the last time I heard, our country actually *elected* its officials. Foisting leaders on other people is a precarious business, but foisting leaders that could further antagonize the occupied people and potentially lead to greater unrest and loss of life is not what I would call a wise decision.
Here's a quote from Raed, an Iraqi with a weblog:
"General reactions? You can imagine the fear of castration the Iraqi males are going thru at the moment, don�t expect this to be swallowed very easily, and to divert this unease they would just say something along the lines: "She doesn�t look very pretty, does she?". One person who doesn't actually work here but was dragged by a colleague to see the picture said: "You know it is their intention to destroy the pride of the muslim man." Tread carefully is what I say; change shouldn't be plunked on people's heads like this, especially when there already is an atmosphere of mistrust and unfriendliness."
So, how will this kind of rule play out? I suspect that Barbara Bodine was chosen for this position because of how well she'll play over here, rather than over in Iraq. The idea seems to be to give a softer, gentler image to post-war Iraq that will play well with women in the States (who make up the majority of the anti-war sentiment) and make people feel like the military aren't running the show.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, the people who oppose Iraq being divided, being ruled by Westerners, or the males who oppose being "humiliated" very well might come out of the woodwork and attack us.
Frankly, this might be part of the plan. Humiliate the Arab world, especially Arab males. Provoke those who oppose our policies to attack us. When they do, we'll have justification to hunt down bands of "terrorists"... say the words "al-Qaeda" repeatedly, and use these attacks as justification for additional conflicts with neighbors to Iraq who are "supporting these terrorists". (i.e. Syria and Iran.)
...and if this plan just happens to get a lot of people killed, well, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.