October 30, 2005

Iraqi Kumbaya

Hatched by Sachi

Togetherness is breaking out all over Iraq... and I understand that some sort of election might be about to be held. (Pssst! Nobody tell the Democrats... Carville and Begala might head out to drum up support for Hillary in 2008.)

Since the victory of the Iraqi constitution, an amazing thing has happened: in the midst of a terrorist war, Shia, Kurds, and even Sunni have begun to act like civilized people gearing up for an election: they're campaigning, making alliances of political convenience, giving speeches, and I wouldn't be surprised if they kissed a baby or two.

This is remarkable, because less than three years ago, they lived in a dictatorship that had never held a real, contested election in their lifetimes. The success of Iraq gives this skeptic of "nation building" a lot to ponder.

Islam Online reports that it's not just the Iraqi Islamic Party, but all three of the biggest Sunni parties have joined together to urge Sunnis to vote in the December elections -- and to warn them against boycotting this time.

The Conference of the People of Iraq (CPI), the Islamic Party and the Iraqi National Dialogue (IND) joined the political fray in Iraq on October 14 as one entity on October 14 to run in parliamentary elections.

"We want to run as a political bloc in the next elections in order to obtain the best results," IND head Sheikh Khalaf Alayan told reporters on Wednesday.

CPI chief Adnan Al-Dulaimi criticized those who might call for a boycott of the vote, saying they "sought to destroy the country".

"We hope that those who oppose this consultation will not place obstacles in our path," added Islamic Party number two Tareq Al-Hashimi.

In related and very odd -- and probably good -- news, even Muqtada Sadr, renegade functionally illiterate Shiite "scholar" and great disappointment to his revered father has, for the moment at least, given up his Mighty al-Mahti Militia and joined with the Sunni Arabs in Anbar province to present a joint slate of candidates for the Iraqi parliament:

NAJAF, Iraq, October 26, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - Shiite leader Moqtada Al-Sadr said Wednesday, October 26, he would present a joint list of candidates with Sunni Arabs in Al-Anbar province to contest the December 15 legislative elections.

The office of the anti-occupation firebrand said it decided to ally itself with the Sunnis due to "the difficult situation facing the country, to prevent the occupier and enemies of Iraq from attaining their goals, to consolidate national identity and to reaffirm its unity," reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Sadr's deputy, Fattah Al-Sheikh, joins eight Sunni candidates on a list for the Anbar representation. While we're not great admirers of the buffoon Sadr (as you can probably tell), at least it's a step in the right direction that he wants to run for Parliament instead of holing himself up in a mosque in Najaf and threatening to destroy the 6,225th most holy site in the entire ummah.

In really unalloyed good news, the largest Islamic association in Iraq, the Association of Muslim Scholars (Hayat Al-Ulama Al-Muslimin), has decided not to call for a boycott this time -- at least for now. With all the major Sunni political groups in Iraq now calling for Sunnis to vote, not boycott, it's likely this Sunni association will do so too.

Regardless of whether we like or dislike various political parties in Iraq, it's just plain better that they fight against each other with political campaigns and parliamentary votes than Kalashnikovs and car bombs.

Let me give over the floor to Mohammed of Iraq the Model; he wrote some stirring words today at the end of a post describing all the new parties and alliances and political factions lining up for the election. It's like there's suddenly politics going on in heart of the Arab Middle East! Western style politics, as in Spain or France. Iraq has made amazing strides in just two and a half years... which is a tribute not only to the Iraqis themselves (of course) but also to a man named George W. Bush.

Here's Mohammed:

[I]t has to be acknowledged that the political experiment in Iraq has matured by far during these two and a half years and the political language slowly began to take more realistic dimensions and we can sense a growing faith in the ways of democracy giving some sort of special divinity to the ballot box which shall remain the only base for building a new Iraq. The more Iraqis believe in elections and in voting as a way to express themselves, the weaker violence becomes and the more isolated the terrorists will be. Iraqis will prove that they do believe in democracy and they do want liberty and justice and the[y] will show the region an example of how partners can work out their differences in spite of all the hardships. [Emphasis added]

Well, he ought to know!

Hatched by Sachi on this day, October 30, 2005, at the time of 12:38 AM

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Comments

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

In some ways, growing up in a non-democratic Third World country gives you an intense political education. More so in some ways than for people who grow up in the "First World." Iraqis typically live in large families, that they have to please, and then when they walked out the door in the morning they had much more dangerous forces that they had to please. So, if you were not a politician, in that sense, you may not've lasted too long in Saddam's Iraq.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2005 7:40 AM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Iraqis will prove that they do believe in democracy and they do want liberty and justice and the[y] will show the region an example of how partners can work out their differences in spite of all the hardships. [Emphasis added]

How many more times do the Iraqis have to prove "that they do believe in democracy and they do want liberty and justice" before America's left admits that W was right by revoking Saddam's probation?!?

The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2005 7:54 AM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

The MSM is working at fever pitch to keep people from being able to celebrate the victory of the Adminitration's policy in this. How do they do this? By their favorite technique: siply ignoring the facts and only focusing on thier claims of the failure of the Bush Administration.
Let us see:
Shrinking defecit....check
Booming Economy......check
Fulfillment of W's strategy in Iraq....check
Unemployment down......check
Proving that the Fed response to Katrina was timely.....check
MSM/demohack response? Ignore it and declare the Bush Administratino finished.
What a great forum for discussing the events of the day the MSM is......NOT.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2005 8:29 AM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

(Continuing our trackbacks discussion from the prior post) I still can't leave trackbacks on your site but I see proof above that others can so at this point I'm blaming my problem on TypePad.

From my Quag-mire! Quag-mire! post:

Dafydd ab Hugh has the latest *here*. OIF vet Col. Austin Bay *says* it's a genuine nightmare. Time to just give up, I guess.

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2005 3:20 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dana Pico

Why is it that those of us who have lived in free and democratic nations for all of our lives seem to value it so little?

The above hissed in response by: Dana Pico [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2005 4:22 PM

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