The New Iraq Emerges

Historians may well mark this as the moment Iraq entered a new phase of existence, beginning to enter the Western world the way South Korea and Japan did after U.S. occupations:

BAGHDAD - The secular challenger who stunned Iraq with his razor-thin parliamentary election win turned his attention to negotiations over a future government Saturday even as supporters of the prime minister vowed to fight the results.

Ayad Allawi's two-seat win was hailed as a startling comeback for a politician who just four years ago was shunned as a U.S.-backed puppet, but the closeness of the race meant his road to regaining the premiership was anything but guaranteed.
...
Regardless of the final outcome, the results of the parliamentary vote were a turning point and served as a rejection of the domination of Shiite religious parties who are closely aligned with Iran and rose to power after the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam's Sunni-dominated regime in 2003.


So much for the theocratic Iranian satellite defeatists like the oft-quoted Mideast "expert" Juan Cole promised us (longtime Iraq observers will remember Cole's earlier 2004 prediction that we would appoint a strongman instead of holding elections; somehow, despite his inability to predict even the most obvious elements of the foreign policy of his own country the MSM continues to cite his "expertise" on Iraqi matters).

It's really rather astounding: in only a few elections, Iraqi politics have gone from representative tribalism to at least a limited marketplace of ideas. While Iraq still has many problems, it's evolving by leaps and bounds next to nearly any other Arab state -- and the numbers bear that out: electricity, water, sewage service, fuel, cell phone usage, internet access, automobile ownership,and housing are all improving dramatically from pre-liberation levels, while the free press has exploded into thousands of indepedent media voices. Perhaps most auspiciously, the markets have spoken strongly in favor of the fledgling democracy: Iraqi bonds are now valued higher than bonds issued by California.

Iraqi blogger Iraqpundit celebrates, and suggests Allawi will form a governing coalition with the Kurds.

In the streets people are celebrating. They sang songs, beeped their horns, fired guns, and some even chanted anti-Maliki slogans. At least in Mansour they did; I can't say for the rest of Baghdad. The celebrations have been quieted by rain. In this part of the world, rain is considered a blessing. It seems somehow appropriate that the day ends in rain.

Iraqis can see that their votes mean something. This really is an amazing day.


Iraq the Model, indeed. I guess Baghdad isn't burning anymore.

posted by Dave on 03.27.10 at 03:57 PM










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