Thursday, November 27, 2003

TRODDING DOWN THE PATH OF DEMOCRACY: Tacitus is nice enough to offer a "few brief observations" from Nairobi:

I'm disgusted with the continuing ability of the Ayatollah Sistani to jerk around the CPA [...] are we really hitting a snag because our plans don't recognize Iraq's Islamic character? The hell with that -- no American should have to fight and die to establish an Islamic state. We already trod that path, to our eternal shame, in Afghanistan; doing the same in Iraq would be catastrophic both to our honor and to our dreams of a truly free Middle East.
Do me a favor: read the Times article on Sistani "jerking around the CPA." The major problem is Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani insisting that a directly chosen electorate write the constitution instead of an un-elected and unrepresentative interim government, which is exactly what happened in Afghanistan. Tacitus elaborates in the comments section:
We shouldn't consent to the establishment of Islamic Republics even in principle. It's contrary to our own values, and certainly has brought nothing but grief to those who live under them.
Who the hell cares what American values are? Ahmed Chalabi doesn't and an overwhelming majority of Iraqis certainly don't either. Nor was I aware of the notion that we came to Iraq to implement American values in Iraq. If Iraqis want an Afghan-style Islamic Republic, than shouldn't we give it to them? Isn't that what democracy, according to President Bush, is about? It seems that Tacitus is simply opposed to the will of the people.

You can interpret the "Islamic character"-line in a couple of ways, but here is my take on it. Sistani, along with a lot other Iraqi Muslims, is afraid, and rightfully so, that the new interim government is going to, either a) secularize Iraq and be handpicked by the Americans, b) secularize Iraq and decide according to the developments surrounding the 2004 elections or c) secularize Iraq and act as American puppets.

(Ahmed Chalabi explains option B: "The whole thing was set up so President Bush could come to the airport in October for a ceremony to congratulate the new Iraqi government. When you work backwards from that, you understand the dates the Americans were insisting on.")

But if you want to ignore what I just wrote and listen to Tacitus, than go ahead and damn those hate-filled Islamic clerics. In my view, Tacitus delivered a sermon that totally misinterprets the situation.

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January 6, 2013 at 3:30 PM  

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