By Padraig O'Hannelly.
In 1987, management guru and writer Tom Peters wrote that the formula for success was to under-promise and over-deliver -- in other words, to manage expectations.
We can only hope that this maxim was in the mind of Iraq's Minister of Electricity, Abdulkarim Aftan [Karrem Aftan al-Jumali]., when he spoke this week about his plans for power generation in the country.
In a bold and confident speech in Basra, the Minister urged the owners of private generators to sell them to scrap yards, as there will be no more need for them.
"Iraq will hit the final nail into the coffin of darkness which has descended on the country for so many years," he said. "The issue of electricity will be solved once for all by the end of October."
That won't be in time to power all the air-conditioners needed in the searing heat of the coming summer, but the promise will be remembered and will be put to the test in due course.
If the Minister can deliver on his promise, then we will not be forced to recall the words of another famous writer, Mark Twain, who a hundred years earlier wrote that you can always tell that a politician is lying if his lips are moving.