In the Iraqi government, the five remaining Sunni cabinet members who have not resigned in protest have announced a boycott of future cabinet meetings. That effectively eliminates the last thread of hope for collaborative Sunni-Shia administration that was portended by the successful open elections of two years ago. This illustrates well the primary flaw in our assumption of successful democracy...when parties are more inclined to just walk away and return to their cabals of disruption, than to remain in a minority but working part of the government, democracy will never work.
In these developments, we come to better appreciate the role of the "minority" participants of governments...they may be in the minority, they may be a nuisance in process, they may reflect unpopular positions; but they give those people who elected them a voice in the legal workings of their country. Those who just walk away force those individuals in the minority on the streets to find other ways to express their dissatisfaction...and in a culture where life is cheap, those alternative ways are often horrible.
As they were in the other story in the article.
In Tal Afar to the north, officials slapped an immediate curfew on the religiously mixed city after a suicide bomber slammed his truck into a crowded Shiite neighborhood. The blast killed at least 28 people, including at least 19 children, according to Brig. Gen. Najim Abdullah, who said the dump truck was filled with explosives and covered with a layer of gravel.An ugly crime indeed...and perhaps just a minor event in what could be coming for Iraq. If Iraq's elected leaders choose to play at politics of exclusion and domination, then the grand experiment in democracy is doomed to fail, no matter how brilliant our paramilitary strategy and how brave and self-sacrificing our soldiers remain.
The powerful Monday morning blast caused houses to collapse as many families were getting ready for the day ahead, and officials said the death toll could rise.
Several residents said boys and girls were playing hopscotch and marbles outside the houses at the time of the explosion.
``This is an ugly crime. I cannot understand how the insurgents did not think about these children,'' said one man, Kahlil Atta, a wedding photographer in the city.
Tal Afar, which was cited by Bush last March as a success story after major military operations against insurgents, has been the frequent site of Sunni extremist attacks in the past year.We can only hope and pray that these incidents are indeed being somehow overblown by the liberal-agenda newspaper in which the report appears, and that the unreported positive developments outweigh events like this a hundred to one. Because events like these can damper even the best happenings and crush people's hopes...and the terrorist mind counts on that.
Let us pray for the families of another 28 who died without ever knowing liberty.
Sir Chuck, surveying the damage and looking for hope