Friday, December 10

Iraqi Emergence

The Left Elite and the MSM (if there is a distinction) for the most part are ignoring social change in Iraq. This has several reasons, among them are:
  • Sour grapes over the Presidential election
  • Or a hangover from pre-election perceptions that the worse we do in Iraq, the better Mr Kerry would do at the voting booth
  • Ingrained superiority complex about Western ideals and culture, which are "hidden" by a lip service to diversity.
  • The basic tendency for journalists to perceive good news as boring and bad news as more exciting.
  • A distrust (misplaced I might add) of the American military
Some of these reasons are more forgivable than others.

From the WSJ, we find the following column today:

OpinionJournal - Wonder Land: "But he pointed out the danger of minimizing a nation's prospects by underestimating the momentum of the democratic process: 'If you establish routinized institutions of even quasi-competitive elections, over time they create opportunities for real contests. . . . When a society matures, like Ukraine, these institutions deepen. In Ukraine it took 13 years, in Georgia [the Rose Revolution last year] it took 12, in Serbia about 10 years.'

Iraq's instability, notably in the country's center, is well advertised by now. Less appreciated, however, is Iraq's growing measure of economic stability and vitality.

'Baghdad is booming,' says Mohammed Fadhil Ali, one of three remarkable Ali brothers who oversee the Web log, Mohammed and his younger brother Omar came this week to the Journal's offices, their first trip to the States, to discuss Iraq's future.

They were not overwhelmed by New York's holiday crush; Baghdad's population is roughly 5.7 million people. Stores there are overflowing with goods and the streets jammed with shoppers. It appears that the number of cars has doubled in a year. 'The middle class is growing,' says Omar. After the April 9, 2003, 'liberation,' Mohammed was determined to photograph every new building in Baghdad. 'Now there is a new building in Baghdad every day; I can't count them all.' Land and real-estate prices are surging. Most of the investment is coming out of the Arab world, not the West.

They made a couple of other interesting points about Iraq's political mood. One, Iraqis won't vote for a government dominated by Islamist religionists. Why? The abhorred next-door example of Iran's mullahs. This mirrors elections already held in Iraq. In a local election last year in Nazariya, with 47,000 votes cast amid imams urging support for Islamic parties, the biggest vote-getters were teachers, engineers and other professionals.

And current party coalitions notwithstanding, the man on the street is sounding cussedly independent. A farmer in Samarra told them: 'I will vote for a good man, Shia or Sunni.' 'We Iraqis don't trust any government now,' says Mohammed, though Prime Minister Allawi's public standing rose after he first cleaned up Shiite Najaf, then Sunni Fallujah.

Yesterday in Iraq, the primary Shiite groups presented a voting 'list' of 228 candidates. The really notable thing about these emerging lists, or slates, is that they are diverse. Most parties are pursing a 'big tent' strategy--by ethnicity, religion and even gender. The Shiite coalition's candidates, for instance, include Shiite Kurds, Sunni independents from the Shamar tribe, minority Turkomans, even Yazidis, a minority religious sect. Banners from the major political parties are showing up all over Iraq carrying the same message: 'Vote.' Sounds like real politics.
All this bodes well for the future. Perhaps the left elite/MSM fear a democratic world in which their shrill voices are no longer the dominant voice crying out in the wilderness but are just one of many. Their bully pulpit will be drowned out in the clamor of other voices and opinions, which aren't in lockstep with theirs, and not spouting their brand of socialist post-modernist atheistic/agnostic "truths". Perhaps what they fear is a democratic Iraq, Afghanistan, (and perhaps following their lead other Middle Eastern states) and which doesn't think their considered opinions are worth much consideration.

Just a thought. :)