Security and Peace Initiative Democracy Arsenal

« The Grinch | Main | Spinning in a widening gyre of polls »

December 20, 2005

Iraqi Election Recap
Posted by Suzanne Nossel

I am going to be off for about 2 weeks for a trip to South Africa and will have Spencer Boyer filling in starting later this week.  Posting here in general may be a bit light for the holiday period, and will resume per usual in January.

But before signing off I wanted to do the very beginnings of a recap on the 10 issues I said we ought to watch in relation to the Iraqi elections.  I am going to review only those issues with respect to which we have enough information to begin to evaluate the results, and will stick with the numbering scheme used in my original post:

1.  The Iraqi United Coalition made of up of conservative Shiite parties seems to have done well.   In general, this does not bode well for US influence over the shape of the Iraqi government, and suggests that Iran's role will grow.

2.  Allawi's party seems to have done commensurately poorly, dealing a blow to hopes for the rise of moderate secularists.  Allawi seems to be preparing a challenge to the results.

5.  Interestingly the talk of immediate drawdown of US troops seems to have died down a bit over the last week or so, with an announcement instead today on drawdown in Afghanistan.  This may be the Administration's effort to deflect critics who suggest that no matter what he says, Bush is pulling out.   And/or the Administration may feel it has to wait until a new government is actually formed.

6.  Fraud allegations are coming fast and furious, with Sunni's charging that early returns suggesting overwhelming Shiite victory in Baghdad are at odds with the demographics of the area.   This is very worrying, in that the much-touted Sunni buy-in to the political process could erode quickly if the legitimacy of the results is in question and/or if the Sunni parties have just performed poorly.

7.  There's no sign of convergence between Sunni and Shiite religious parties.  On the contrary, American Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is warning of rising sectarianism.

9.  One piece of good news is that Ahmed Chalabi's effort at political rehabilitation seems to have failed.    But knowing Chalabi, who would be surprised if he doesn't somehow emerge as more powerful in a new government than the raw poll numbers would seem to permit.

10.  Bush spun pretty hard during prime time two nights ago, trumpeting the elections as a triumph.  But as the facts emerge on winners and losers, my sense is they'll be forced to go a lot quieter.

All in all, the early returns point in a variety of distressing directions.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Iraqi Election Recap:


So, then:

Mission Accomplished, Afghanistan ?

Iraq an unstoppable disaster.

Every day, as we here in the United States go on our daily lives, there in the Iraq those who want to go on their daily lives have become the target of our tragic ideology.
If we all cry foul play in the last two elections, what would make an Iraqi citizen say that their elections were free of corruption?
Haven't we learned that if we give the thirsty poison, they will die? That is what we have offer the Iraqi people from the beginning, a corrupt invasion and a false democracy that does not call for a unify Iraq.
This country will not see freedom, they will only use the tools that we have given them and I am sorry to say, but we have handed Iraq nothing but poison.
This war in terror has failed from the beginning, by not hunting down the responsible individuals of 9-11, we are just left to wonder when will they attack us next and if they are still alive.
Our president has asked every American to be patient, for this is a war that will last for several years, but my question is should Americans ask the Iraqis the same question?
After 30,000 Iraqis have died! We have no morals if we asked the Iraqis the same questions.
I am sad about our young men and women who are over there not knowing who the enemy is, I just pray that we can treat then as heroes for the rest of their lives and to never forget them or dispatch them to the bottom of the economic ladder.
What fills me with anger is also the innocent lives of the poor, who have waited patiently more than we have, to experience their own freedom Mr. President its time to let the Iraqis themselves decide the fate of their country, because if we value more their freedom, then we would leave as soon as they can stand on their feet.
This is not an act of cut and run, this is and act of respect and independence for the Iraqis, just as we encourage our children to be independent and strong, may be we should encourage the Iraqis to do the same, this is a value that we must spread through the region.
The real value of a nation is not a written constitution or a democratic vote. Remember that Mr. Hugo Chavez was elected through a democratic vote and he is a communist, we should let the majority of Iraqis decide the fate of their country, that would change the fate of the an unstoppable disaster.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Guest Contributors
Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of the Security and Peace Institute, the Center for American Progress, The Century Foundation or any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use