The heart of the American occupation of Iraq, the heavily defended Green Zone in the center of Baghdad, is transferred to the Iraqi government today. From now on, The New York Times reports, Iraqis will decide, with input from America, who gets which buildings, what parts should be opened up to the rest of Baghdad, and who can go in and out. Americans will even begin paying rent for the space they use. This is not the end of American occupation, but it is the beginning of the end. Plans to shrink the zone or open up major roads to general traffic, which could reduce Baghdad’s gridlock, could still be months away. One important remaining decision: Who will get Saddam’s Republican Palace, now that diplomats have moved into the new American Embassy?
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