The Nation | Blog | The Daily Outrage | The Election Syndrome | Ari Berman

The Nation | Blog | The Daily Outrage | The Election Syndrome | Ari Berman:

For months, the Bush Administration hyped the Iraqi elections as the “most important step” for Iraq’s reconstruction, the pivotal moment when Iraq would finally control its own destiny. Now, amidst chaos on the ground and not-so-subtle pressure from Washington, it appears likely that the election of a new national assembly won’t provide an answer to the occupation’s central question: when will US troops leave so Iraqis can take charge of their own security?

In the run-up to elections, most major Iraqi candidates, as predicted by the CIA, emphasized US withdrawal in their campaign platforms. Iyad Allawi, Iraq’s current Prime Minister, won plaudits after his website called for a “conditions-based withdrawal.” The campaign literature of the Shiite-backed United Iraqi Alliance–supported by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani–listed “setting a timetable for the withdrawal of multinational forces from Iraq” as its No. 2 promise.

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The Doc Searls Weblog : Monday, January 31, 2005

The Doc Searls Weblog : Monday, January 31, 2005:

Now Democracy

I’ve never been a fan of the Iraq war; but I’ll aways be a fan of democracy (I agree with Churchill), and there can be no doubt that Sunday’s elections were a huge milestone for democratic progress in the Middle East. (Eeyore complaints withstanding.)


This pic doesn’t say it all; but it does say a lot.

A toast to everybody who helped make it happen.

Here’s the thing: You can’t give a people democracy. They have to take it. We’ll see if the images and enthusiasm of this very inspiring day turn into permanent political change.