Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's Half-Full, Darn It!

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Here's a nice optimistic look at the changes in Iraq. This is much like my own thinking... I am possibly being a bit too hopeful, but I can't help it... it's my nature!

[[ Iraq's first freely elected government continues to vindicate the belief that the Mideast can be transformed, starting with Saddam Hussein's former tyranny. Its draft constitution, which appears headed for parliamentary approval tonight, reflects a remarkable spirit of compromise--and even enlightenment--among the country's political, ethnic and religious factions.

The word "compromise" is key here. If we were drafting the document, there are many things we might have done differently. But the point of democracy is that countries have to find their own way on difficult issues. Americans also shouldn't be too quick to conclude that anything that sounds odd or unfamiliar to liberal ears is evidence of failure. While this constitution does indeed contain general appeals to religion, it is fundamentally a document that empowers legislators, not clerics.

It's worth noting, more broadly, that alarums (sic) about Iranian-style Shiite theocracy in Iraq have been raised repeatedly over the past few years, often by American or Arab proponents of the Sunni dictatorships that are the Mideast status quo. But one of the most underappreciated stories in post-Saddam Iraq has been the extent to which the Shiite community has remained committed to a constitutional, democratic process--despite the best attempts of the terrorist Zarqawi or cleric Moqtada Sadr to provoke them to violence. Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who adheres to a "quietist" school of Islam that shuns excessive mixing of religion and politics, has continued to play a particularly constructive role. ]] (LINK to optimistic column)

It's a good article... well worth reading the whole thing.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Tsar Lazar said...

"Iraq's first freely elected government continues to vindicate the belief that the Mideast can be transformed"

Ummmm...the latest news from Iraq is that the convention has dissolved with no plans to reconvene anytime soon. Not surprisingly, the three groups are splintering, as is the tenuous, fetal coalition the US has tried to hammer together. In that vein, the Shi'ites have already starting jockeying against each other in the south as various factions seek power.

Sorry, kmg, but the cracks are starting to widen...

Pomoze Bog.
Tsar Lazar

25/8/05 10:00  
Blogger kmg said...

It took our founding fathers several years to get it together... I'd expect some similar difficulties here- if not much worse.

Half-full... half-full... half-full...

25/8/05 11:54  
Anonymous Tsar Lazar said...

Other "half-full" Islamic nations:

Pakistan (genocide against Hindus and other non-Muslims after partition; intermittent war with neighbors ever since)

Iran (disasterous period under the Pahlavis, then hard-core Islamic Republic)

Syria (Arab Republic under the brutal reign of the Hashemites; tried to exterminate Israel several times, and occupied Lebanon as anti-Christian "peacekeepers" until recently)

Afghanistan (Islamic Republic under Taliban; they were better off under Soviet domination)

Saudi Arabia (Wahhabi Muslim kingdom ruled by a bunch of degenerate shiekhs; very hardcore Muslim doctrine)

Malaysia (consistent persecution of non-Muslim minorities)

Sudan (northern Arabic Muslims waging constant war of extermination against Christian and animist south; decade-long civil war just ended)

Mauritania (strict Islamic government that traffics in slavery and extermination of non-Muslim minorities)

Not to mention Mulsim minorities in diverse other regions, such as the Balkans, Chechnya, former Soviet republics, etc.

Time to tighten your helmet strap and tuck it in, Marine. :)

Pomoze Bog.
Tsar Lazar

25/8/05 19:13  
Blogger kmg said...

I'm not arguing any of those, Tsar... in fact, I could not agree more.

My optimism is in the here and now... and making Iraq and Afghanistan the beginning of the end for the jihadis.

Our blood is there now... and we need to follow through this time and make sure the cancer is chemo'ed.

26/8/05 09:01  
Anonymous Tsar Lazar said...

Well, I sincerely hope you're right5...I agree with you, and pray it works.

Uhfortunately, the track record for democratizing Islamic nations is aroun 0-10.

Pomoze Bog.
Tsar Lazar (who in spite evidence to the contrary, still has a few sparks of idealism glowing in his mind)

26/8/05 10:10  

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