Help wanted...

Surprisingly the US is finding it hard to find an ambassador for Iraq. Given the progress the Bush Junta say they are making in the country you would think the queue of people wishing to be at the head of the embassy in Baghdad with a staff of 3,000, the largest such US diplomatic mission in the world, would be large. But, no, the post remains unfilled. How strange. Perhaps some of those patriotic right-wingers who were so willing to send others to their deaths would volunteer?

And talking of jobs, faced with the threat of a generalised mass insurgency across the country the US is creating a new secret police force. The occupying power is employing former members of Saddam's intelligence services. At least they have job experience. As one Iraqi put it, hopefully they "will be an improvement on American intelligence -- I'd hate to have us invade a country on false pretences."

The "new" secret police will supplement the long list of abuses already identified by Amnesty International: the shooting of demonstrators; the arbitrary arrests; the house demolitions; the ill-treatment of prisoners. All under a US appointed "Iraqi" government which has hundreds of thousands of foreign troops around to remind it who is boss. But the important thing is that the US can say its transferred power back to Iraqis. That will be a crucial weapon in the PR struggle to undermine opposition to the war and its bloody aftermath.

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