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Iraq: This Democracy Thing Might Work!

Iraq votes

Iraq votes

It sure has been getting low-key coverage in the MSM, but it appears the election in Iraq went off very well and is producing some surprising and, frankly, good results.

14,400 candidates stood for office.  Unlike 2005, when 200 candidates were killed prior to the election, this time 8 were lost.  14 of the 18 provinces were included (Kurdistan’s provinces are having separate elections) and while turnout was considered to be low (51%), Sunnis participated en mass for the first time. William Shawcross describes 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.

The only Islamic party to gain ground was the Dawa party of the Shia prime minister Nouri al-Maliki – and even that party dropped the word Islamic from its name. The power of Maliki, who has emerged a stronger leader than expected, is further enhanced by these elections. Now no Islamic parties will be able to control any provinces on their own. The election is thus a big defeat for Iran which had hoped that Shia religious parties would control the south and enable Iran to turn them into a mini Shia republic.

I know this has some of you gasping for breath out there. We were assured by none other than the great Juan Cole and his fellow travelers that Iran was in total control of the Iraqi governmental apparatus and would quickly turn into what Shawcross characterizes as a “mini-Shia republic”.

Yet it appears that the Iraqi public are rejecting the concept of a theocracy in favor of a more secular government. And that, of course is a de facto rejection of Iran.

Obviously Iraq still has a long way to go, but it is hard to deny the amount of progress that has been made. Except for the dead-enders who’ve vested so much into this           being the “worst foreign policy disaster in US history”, it is looking pretty darn good in Iraq.

USMC Maj Gen John F. Kelly gives you an indication of the level of change that has taken place in previously violent Anbar province:

Something didn’t happen in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, today. Once the most violent and most dangerous places on earth, no suicide vest bomber detonated killing dozens of voters. No suicide truck bomber drove into a polling place collapsing the building and killing and injuring over 100. No Marine was in a firefight engaging an Al Qaida terrorist trying to disrupt democracy.

What did happen was Anbar Sunnis came out in their tens of thousands to vote in the first free election of their lives.


One of the things I’ve always said was that we came here to “give” them democracy. Even in the dark days my only consolation was that it was about freedom and democracy. After what I saw today, and having forgotten our own history and revolution, this was arrogance. People are not given freedom and democracy – they take it for themselves. The Anbaris deserve this credit.

Today I step down as the dictator, albeit benevolent, of Anbar Province. Today the Anbaris took it from me. I am ecstatic. It was a privilege to be part of it, to have somehow in a small way to have helped make it happen.

Shawcross asks:

There will be further setbacks. But who knows, Iraq may yet even become a model for democratic change in other Arab countries. If so, who deserves some credit? The much maligned President Bush. And Tony Blair.

Now that’s real hope and change.


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10 Responses to Iraq: This Democracy Thing Might Work!

  • Doom…Al-Maliki lost as did George Bush…I decree it…Quagmire…Thru the lens of a highly trained Political Science-y eye it becomes obvious that Democracy has lost in Iraq and that the embittered Shi’i radicals will now turn to violence and overthrow the government, resulting in a stinging defeat for American Imperialism/Nation-Building and a significant victory for Iran.

    So it written; so let it be done.

  • despair … quagmire … debacle …

  • You guys forgot to mention how one third of the paid killers sent to Iraq return as basket cases. How can you be taken seriously as anti-war parodists if you can’t work the really silly stuff in?

  • Oh Bruce, you’re delusions on this issue grow every week, and as time passes they grow more and more desperate.

    Everyone (or rather, everyone that matters ie. professors like myself) knows that this is simply a front being put forth by the United States on one hand and Iran on the other to make Iraq look stable for their own propaganda.  After all, to think that Iraq could ever be stable while undergoing a massive, bloody and endless Civil War is laughably stupid.   In fact, I wrote on my website today an article that goes into great detail why Bush failed miserably to bring any kind of change to Iraq, and our best bet is to get out quickly and hope that Iran will be able to reign in these unruly Iraqis.  After all, considering the new administration, Iran is friendly now that the era of Cowbow Diplomacy is over. 

    Now amount of modern revisionism or wishful thinking is going to change this quagmire into anything other than what it is: a terrible, costly, and criminal mistake.

  • Yes, where ist Otto Scerb to illuminate the failures in Iraq so well

  • And the best thing is Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the rank and file Dems had ZERO to do with it.

    Take a bow Pres. Bush!

  • Joe-

    Since Erb, Cap and the rest of the crew have suddenly have gone dark as Obama stumbles, you’re going to have to be the resident lefty for awhile 🙂

  • >>>Since Erb, Cap and the rest of the crew have suddenly have gone dark as Obama stumbles

    Yeah, funny about that isn’t it.  Pretty embarrassing for the leftosphere

  • How ironic that the war in Iraq, the  illegitimate unwinnable quagmire distracting us from the real War Against Terror, appears to be successful while the legitimate, necessary, must-win war in Astan which the left can’t wait to enlarge seems to be getting a bit quagmirish.

  • “Since Erb, Cap and the rest of the crew have suddenly have gone dark as Obama stumbles”

    And also their uncharacteristic silence as we descend ever farther into the H*ll of Global Warming. Perhaps they are preoccupied with building and stocking their survival bunkers in the mountains.