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Posted previously at Grok Your World.

NY Times: "3 Sunni Election Workers Seized and Killed in Mosul," by Dexter Filkins, August 20, 2005.

Or the Iraqi Civil War ... or both ... you decide.

Check out this all-too-cogent analysis from an appropriately annoyed Kurdish leader who, intelligently, wants to maintain his anonymity [bold emphasis mine]:

The tentative agreements on Islam were brokered by the American ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, according to a Kurdish negotiator who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the delicacy of the talks. The Kurdish leader said that in both cases, Mr. Khalilzad had sided with Shiite leaders in backing a more expansive role for Islam. That, the Kurd said, angered many of the secular-minded Iraqis who have been fighting for a stricter separation between Islam and the state.

According to the Kurdish leader, the secular Iraqis had pushed for language that would have narrowed the circumstances under which legislation would be deemed to be in conflict with Islam. And, according to the Kurd, the secular Iraqis had wanted marriage and family disputes to be adjudicated by civil courts, not by clerics.

"Your American ambassador is giving an Islamic character to the state," the Kurdish leader said. "You spent all this money and all this blood to bring an Islamic republic here."

"We are very worried," he said.

Of course, this shouldn't be much of a surprise ... Bush has been trying to turn the US into a corporate / Christian monarchy since he sleazed his way to office in 2000 ... while the craven Democrats cower, and boot-licking media cheer ...

Originally posted to Grok Your World on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 05:05 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Definition of Democracy... (none)
    "Democracy is not a set of revealed, unchanging truths but the mechanism by which, through the clash and compromise of ideas, individuals and institutions, the people can, however imperfectly, reach for truth. Democracy is pragmatic. Ideas and solutions to problems are not tested against a rigid ideology but tried in the real world where they can be argued over and changed, accepted or discarded.

    Self-government cannot protect against mistakes, end ethnic strife, or guarantee economic prosperity. It does, however, allow for the debate and examination that can identify mistakes, permit groups to meet and resolve differences, and offer opportunities for innovation and investment that are the engines of economic growth."

    Womens rights/separation of church and state/privacy rights are not inherent democratic truths, but rights which may or may not be offered by a freely elected representative government. What do you want them to do; should the Bush people write the constitution? If they do we will never get out of Iraq.

    The problem is that we should have never went into Iraq and this war has been totally screwed up since we went in - the outcome is what it is at this point.

    This post is not to be misconstrued as associated with political fundraising or any other campaign activity. This post is general commentary of current events.

    by RichardG on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 05:13:27 PM PDT

    •  Agreed...ish. (none)

      There isn't much else we can do, and we shouldn't be writing their constitution for them. But in my guess, a government with no separation of church and state, no privacy rights, and no womens' rights, is only taking the form of democracy with none of the meaning...I think the protection of rights is as important as the voting part. But like you said, there's not much we can do.

      However, we can insist they let Sunnis have a place at the negotiating table, which they didn't do. To me, the thought that 1872 Americans have died so far to create an Islamic theocracy is almost intolerable (not to even touch on the vastly greater Iraqi suffering). But an unstable islamic theocracy is even worse, because a collapsed Iraq would lead to a breeding ground for terrorists, a threat to Israel (if that kind of thing matters to you), and a threat to the global oil supply. I guess that's a little off topic, but you're right: We've been screwed into this position, and there's little we can do but accept the circumstances as they are.

      •  Your assuming... (none)
        that it will be unstable. I think it will be more stable than the Saddam government, because it will have the backing of the people (presumably if nothing changes).

        A collapsed government will come from one that is not accepted - if the government is a theocracy it is more likely to be accepted - its a catch 22.

        This post is not to be misconstrued as associated with political fundraising or any other campaign activity. This post is general commentary of current events.

        by RichardG on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 05:31:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The instability will not stem from theocracy (none)
          But rather from the loose federalism model, in which the Sunnis, in the landlocked resource-poor central regions, will have less access to the wealth of the country. Also the fact that during the negotiation of the most recent draft, they spent much of the week locked out. As in, not consulted at all. Seeing as how the insurgency is a Sunni insurgency, they are the ones who will cause instability in a government drawn up by the Shiite and Kurd representatives.
    •  Womens rights are not inherent democratic truths, (none)
      but rights which may or may not be offered by a freely elected representative government.

      That sounds a lot like this:

      MR. GERECHT:  Actually, I'm not terribly worried about this.  I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible.  It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there's no discussion of women not having the right to vote.  I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then.  In 1900, women did not have the right to vote.  If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled.  I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy.  We hope they're there.  I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective.

      If we were talking about black people, or native peoples, or any other ethic group would you still be willing to apply to Iraq a definition of democracry that, while applicable to our own pre-twentieth century form of government, is by all measures antiquated by today's standards?

      Why should women be treated any differently than any other minority in any democracy, especially since they're not a minority at all, and instead represent half the people?

      Using our own paltry history of achieving equality for women as an excuse to allow the Iraqis to do the same is not an acceptable justification. Sorry.

      We ought to be denouncing remarks by anyone who believes that a government can call itself a democracy and exclude rights for half its population.

      •  And the Shia can keep Sunni Slaves (none)
        Since only 200 years ago, when America was a fledgling democracy, just getting nudged out of her nest by the mother hen of liberty, slavery was the norm.  

        Ok, let's take it a step further.  Since only 125 years ago Americans were exterminating Native Americans because they didn't like them, that means the Shia can exterminate the Sunni and the Kurds!  Hell, America did it, and we're the greatest fucking democracy in the history of planet, man!

        This is great - I can rationalize ANYTHING with this reasoning!  

        "The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." -Thomas Jefferson, 1809.

        by Subterranean on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:33:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure where the Diary mentioned Democracy (none)
      Did a search and did not find the word "democracy" in this diary.

      Loosely a Democracy could be only be a few citizens. And it does not mean anything beyond the ability to speak or decide for those citizens. I believe every democracy has excluded some faction by defining or legislating them out of the role of citzen.

      But "democracy" is also the principals of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

      And I think the "democracy" sold to America by the Bush Administration was not what the end result will be regardless what constitution results. I don't know when this "war" became a "struggle" and I don't know when "Operation Iraqi Freedom" became "Operation Islamic Fatherland" but, so it goes...

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