Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Iraqi Political Crisis Grows

While we see hope in the effectiveness of our recent troop surge and its ability to reduce terrorism in the streets of Iraq, it is stories like this that give us pause for consideration of whether civilization can be "won" in that country.

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.

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.
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.
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

2 comments:

  1. "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."

    It could be interpreted that way. It could also be interpreted that they are getting a habit of competeing with legalistic gambits in tune with the the democratic process-that this is a variation of a filibuster.
    Or(and perhaps most likly)it's a little of both.


    Which I suppose shows that in this kind of war lots of things can be interpreted several ways.

    Sir Jason

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  2. "It could be interpreted that way. It could also be interpreted that they are getting a habit of competeing with legalistic gambits in tune with the the democratic process-that this is a variation of a filibuster.
    Or(and perhaps most likly)it's a little of both."


    Which I suppose shows that in this kind of war lots of things can be interpreted several ways."


    Such thoughts can be considered optimism. They are really not. They are rather recognition of a dilemma of all reasonably wars but peculiar to this kind.

    A. To denounce criticism of the war as illegitimate is madness. There is safety in an abundance of counselors.

    B. In this kind of war, neither side is capable of physically destroying the other. Therefore Everything hinges on who says uncle first. Therefore criticism is bad for morale.

    This problem is a very nasty catch 22. How does one maintain rational criticism in such circumstance?

    Which implies that I am biased. Which is true-I don't want us to lose again out of weak will. But That does not necessarily invalidate things I say.

    In any case I still say we are going to be doing this sort of thing for decades and Iraq is as good a place as any other.

    Sir Jason

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