Bush Takes Advice from France

From today’s NYTimes:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 — The Bush administration, moving up its timetable for self-government in Iraq and yielding to its own handpicked leadership there, has decided to try to hold elections in the first half of next year and turn civilian authority over to a temporary government before a new constitution is written, administration officials said Wednesday.

Isn’t this exactly what the French have been advocating for the past several months? Let’s look back in time and see. From The Economist, September 19, 2003:

France wants the UN to play a bigger role in rebuilding Iraq. France is also agitating for self-government for Iraqis as quickly as possible. Mr Chirac has urged America to allow a provisional Iraqi government—more powerful than the American-backed all-Iraqi Governing Council—to take over [within months], with elections to follow next spring. America thinks this is ridiculous—it would, Washington argues, mean handing power to Iraqis before they are ready, and thus consigning the country to more chaos.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Bush administration has changed its mind. It always intended things to be this way, right? Because Team Bush never makes mistakes.