Saturday, January 31, 2009

The normalization of Iraqi democracy? 

Nobody knows how many elections Iraq will need before Iraqis and foreigners decide that its democracy and government are legitimate, but apart from the prominent security this bit of carping from the Associated Press sounds like a typical American election:

Passing through razor-wire cordons and police checkpoints, Iraqi voters Saturday took another step in the nation's quest for stability in provincial elections that were carried off without major violence but tarnished by claims of flaws and threats of challenges.

Even before a single ballot was counted, Iraqi officials were basking in the successes — watching millions of voters wave the purple-tinted fingers that have become symbols of the country's hopes for a workable democracy.

President Barack Obama hailed the elections as significant, peaceful and important steps toward Iraqis taking responsibility for their future.

But election observers and others were examining a growing list of complaints, including claims that hundreds of people — perhaps more — were wrongly omitted from voting lists in areas across Iraq.

"There was huge amount of confusion," said Afram Yakoub, a Belgium-based election monitor who visited polling sites in the Mosul area in northern Iraq. "Names were on the center voter registry but did not appear on the (polling) station registry."

What? Bad record-keeping at the precincts? In an election? Whoever heard of such an outrage?!? Sounds like nothing more or less than the usual SNAFUs.

In fairness, I heard one of the U.N. monitors -- a Scandinavian, I think -- on the radio this afternoon, and he was almost effusive about the smoothness of the election process, which included many more female candidates than in the past.

Perhaps the most reassuring thing about this election was that the security was provided mostly by Iraqis, a major difference from 2005. American soldiers were out and about, but stayed away from polling places by design.

If Iraq actually does emerge with a reasonably strong and legitimate government that turns itself over by something approximately fair and contested elections, will it change the Arab and Muslim world by example, or stand alone to remind us of the limits of American power? Much turns on the answer, including the careers of many a foreign policy expert.


By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Jan 31, 11:25:00 PM:

"Nobody knows how many elections Iraq will need before Iraqis and foreigners decide that its democracy and government are legitimate"

Three peaceful transfers of power, in my opinion. Someone receives power, then loses it as someone else gains power, who then loses it as someone else gains power. That demonstrates that it is the process that is legitimate, and not just whatever group is running things at the time.

That's my opinion, anyway.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 08:03:00 AM:

If that's the criteria, then we must not be living in a democracy. 4 years of Bush, Clinton, then 8 years of Bush, now a Clinton as Secretary of State...

Don't get me started on the Kennedys.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 08:18:00 AM:


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 09:36:00 AM:

Wow and not one positive mention of President Bush. Or do we think this would have happened all by its self.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 10:57:00 AM:

I think Bush did a good job...not the best...but good. This is a perfect example of what America can do. We may not be able end a war that has been raging for 2000 some years or more, but we can establish a Democracy in the midst of terror. It will be a "shining becon upon a hill" for all of the Middle East to see...Great jobs guys.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 11:09:00 AM:

I sincerely hope for the best here too.
But I also know any time you get 2, or more, groups of people, however you define group whether race, religion, politics, etc, there is going to be strife. In a truly civilized society, that strife can be contained and even be constructive, but when that civilization breaks down, physical strife is not far behind, or those may even be reversed in that physical strife leads to a breakdown of civilization.
Oh well, so much for my rambling thoughts.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 11:20:00 AM:


Our American-Run rigged elections have added more self-patting to the puppet regime we installed.....that we don't listen to half the time anyway.

Do the Iraqi people get to elect General Patreaus? Bill Gates? The American Senators who really calls the shots there? Who have the last say in just about anything important?

What a joke. Well, maybe Obama will finally get us out of there, and let this 4,000 year old civilization run itself.....seems to have managed to get by without us for quite awhile up till now.

And before you panic-relax. American companies can overcharge and screw our own people just fine with high gas prices without needing access to Iraq's reserves.

Sorry for the negativity! God Bless the U.S. and God Bless Iraq too.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 11:37:00 AM:

"But election observers and others were examining a growing list of complaints, including claims that hundreds of people — perhaps more — were wrongly omitted from voting lists in areas across Iraq."
Hmmm, sounds like Iraq has gotten to at least the same level as Florida. Now they just need to write a constitution then ignore it ....  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Feb 01, 01:06:00 PM:

Wow. Sarcasm, historical ignorance, and NWO style conspiracy mongering (a lot of that in this blog's comments lately...) all wrapped up in a semi-coherent package.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 01:21:00 PM:

Religion and Politics. Haves and have nots. Tribal behavior. Are we humans all that different from each other. Whether you're launching a rocket from Sadr City into the IZ in Baghdad, or cheating at business on wall street. It's all the same scam, just on a different level. Add 100 years to each one of our lives and then compare ourselves to each other. Without the shell of this body, our true essence is the same. Will we ever get to the point of this realization in the flesh?  

By Blogger teddy, at Sun Feb 01, 01:35:00 PM:

I agree with anonymous. No one seems to give former president Bush any credit for what he determinantly stayed the course in Iraq. Bush had learned and understood the Vietnam lession very well and clearly. He avoided and did not want to abandon an ally like the US did to South Vietnam with a BOGUS Paris Conference Accord on 1-27-1973 and gave it to the totalitarian communist regime on 4-30-1975. And what was the result of it? More than 2 millions refugees had to escape the brutal iron curtain rule of the communist and an exodus of human flee, 0ne third of them died through being captured, shot dead by the communist coast guards and drowned on the deep sea or died in the jungle of Thailand border. And our new vice president, yes our dearly Mr. Biden voted to reject the acceptance of the Vietnamese refugee in the dark dates of 1975. Thanks Heavens that more than half of them resettled in the US worked hard and successful and stepped up to the plate to pay tax like Mr. Biden proclaimed " be patriatic and step up to the plate and pay your share." Most of the Vietnamese obey the law, work hard and love this country dearly. can you image Bush, given in to the democrooks who announced the war on terror is lost evey single day during Bush time, withdraw and creat a massive human exodus from Iraq to the US? And believe me, unlike the Vietnamese, al queda will blend in with the refugees and come to the US and BOY in about ten years you do not have SLEEPER TERRORIST ANY MORE BUT OPEN TERRORIST CELL all over the USA.

Yeah BHO now applaud the successful non-violent election and maybe claiming credits for himself and forgot just about few months ago on the campaign trail that he called " Our troops are terrorizing women and children of the night" believe me if the democrooks had their way and Bush was not tought al quaeda would be killing may more Iraqi today than seeing them FREELY voting for their future.

Do any democrooks take history in college??????  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 02:55:00 PM:

Bush was an ASS, great the Iraq surge is working ,Big Deal we never should have gone there in the first place ,Give that Monkey credit for what! the slaying of innocent civilians, An Illegal war that helped Brankrupt this Country, Tax givaways for the wealthy ,I hope he burns in Hell along with Dickhead Chenny and the other lying scumbag Assholes that worked with Him WORST PRESIDENT EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

By Blogger Vietnam Veteran, at Sun Feb 01, 03:01:00 PM:

I am waiting for the phrase: "There is light at the end of the tunnel."!!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 04:36:00 PM:

We broke it, we own it. Let's work to a good outcome.


By Blogger Diogenes, at Sun Feb 01, 05:30:00 PM:

In "Empires of the Sea, the Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto and the Contest for the Center of the World," Roger Crowley describes how Mediterranean Christians nearly lost everything to the Sultan's Barbary Pirates--who ravished and enslaved "infidels" for over 300 years. After every victory, Christian armies withdrew into their castles, ignoring continuing and persistent threats posed by Islam's Sultan. They waged defensive, and therefore limited wars, confident in Martin Luther's belief that "a mighty fortress is our God"

The Sultan was unable to conquer all of Europe only because he could not maintain his armies and navies in combat for extended periods so far from Constantinople.

President George Bush understood the pitfalls of unfinished wars, and negotiated cease fires. He sought to finish the job we started in Iraq in 1991. He took the fight to the enemy and stayed (indeed proposes staying) until our efforts are complete. Call the objectives--the end game--what you will: a peaceful Muslim Iraq of 25 million people, i.e., the rule of law, democracy, checks and balances, freedom of choice and contract, equal rights for women, etc., or just liberation.

We should all hope and pray that President Bush's vision is realized, and that Arabs find plenty of reasons to stay home in all their respective countries.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 01, 05:33:00 PM:

we never should have gone there in the first place...

In the aftermath of the first Gulf War intervention, undoubtedly many Kurds would have agreed. Given that they are now freed from the yoke of a murdering tyranny, I doubt they or, for that matter, most Iraqis would agree with that sentiment today.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Feb 01, 10:46:00 PM:

"I am waiting for the phrase: "There is light at the end of the tunnel."!!

By Blogger Vietnam Veteran, at Sun Feb 01, 03:01:00 PM "

I call BS, Mr. conveniently named 'Blogger Member Since February 2009' who made this post on February 1st.  

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