Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Green shoots

William Shawcross reports on the relative, and under-reported, success of the Iraqi elections and offers some hope.
The peaceful polling was remarkable and so were the results. All the Islamic parties lost ground, especially that associated with the so-called "Shia firebrand", Moqtada al-Sadr, whose share of the vote went down from 11% to 3%. The principal Sunni Islamic party, the Islamic Party of Iraq, was wiped out.
Is Iraq's long national nightmare coming to an end? Shawcross thinks it may be.
There will be further setbacks. But who knows, Iraq may yet even become a model for democratic change in other Arab countries.
The response from the catastrophists? All is silence.


DorsetDipper said...

Regime change - Former yugoslavia, France after WWII, etc - is always long and painful.

Its too early to pronounce George W a failure despite the universal chorus.

Graeme said...

Or this could be despite George W Bush, not because of him.

DorsetDipper said...

If it wasn't for George W, Saddam would still be in power - so no elections (on the other hand, nor all the deaths).

I seem to remember well before the war a programme on ch 4 Dispatches which showed the extent of Saddam's development of WMD, including the development of biological warfare, and asking the question how long we in the west were going to allow this to go on. All this now seems to be forgotten.

see http://www.maplescombe.com/randw/index.html

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Graeme - I hope it is not that important to you to make sure that Bush was wrong in everything he ever did. At least not to the point where you would wish a catastrophic outcome upon Iraq only to prove yourself right.

Before you jump on my throat - I was against that war.

Graeme said...

I absolutely don't wish catastrophe on Iraq, and I sincerely hope that these elections signal that Iraq is moving towards a peaceful and democratic society. They're a victory for the Iraqi people and Iraqi civil society--not for George W Bush.

Tamburlaine the Great said...

The catastrophists' motivation is deeply suspect. To quote Orwell during the WWII North African campaign: 'I met an MP who told me, on the steps of the Houses of Parliament, "I bet Rommel will be in Cairo within a month." What he meant, as I could see at a glance, was "I hope Rommel will be in Cairo within a month." Now I didn't hope anything of the kind, and so I could see that the chances of holding on to Egypt were pretty good.' I would like to see peace and some degree of democracy in Iraq, even if it makes GWB look a bit better.

Anton Deque said...

It is interesting to ask the StWC faction – "We are all Hizbollah/Hamas/Ba'thists Now" – for their reaction to the free elections in Iraq. Furthermore, why were there none before 2003.

It is apparently still 'illegal'.