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View Diary: The Iraq Election: Defining Success (489 comments)

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  •  The Illusion of Democracy in Action? (none)

       Let it be suggested that last Sunday's election in Iraq represented an end and a beginning --- an end to the Iraqi people being frozen out of the decisions affecting their lives.  And a beginning --- of "democracy" in the Arab Middle East, "democracy" being the best remedy to Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

       However, one election DOES NOT a "democracy" make!  As I see it, the question now is whether the Sunni minority and their positions on the vexing problems facing Iraq be incorporated within the government structure and enjoy a measure of "power," or whether it will become an "oppressed" underclass --- that could lead to a civil war.

       If I'm not mistaken, the elected officials who will make up the 275 member National Assembly will vote for a government to "run" Iraq while the legislature drafts a permanent constitution.  Then in October the Iraqi electorate will vote on a national referendum and then vote again in December for a "new" government under terms of the "new" constitution.

       I hope that the current administration in D.C. will not be permitted to work behind the scenes during this process to take the necessary steps to make Iraq an American protectorate.  Let it be suggested that during the constitution process --- the "neo-cons" at the White House might be tempted to use its power to force the Iraqis to accept a "rebirth" of the Platt Amendment (1901).  After Cuba was "liberated" as a result of the Spanish-American-Cuban War (1898), our government was successful in inserting the following provisions in the Cuban constitution --- * Cuba was NEVER to enter into any treaty that would impair its independence.  * Cuba WOULD NOT contract a debt beyond its ability to meet from "ordinary" revenues.  * The United States COULD intervene in the domestic affairs of Cuba to preserve its independence.  * The United States was permitted to establish a military base at Guantanamo in perpetuity.  I hope the Iraqi government DOES NOT have to acquiesce to similar demands.

       When we saw the joy of the Iraqis who were casting their first ballots --- We can't help but be reminded how easily far too many Americans take voting for granted.  A greater percentage of Iraqis risked death on Sunday to make their voices heard than typically risk taking the time to vote in the United States.  "We the people . . . " SHOULD NEVER take things for granted!

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