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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Democracy In Iraq

In another attempt by the defeatist media to spin the Iraq Campaign badly, Agence Frog France Press has released the stunning news that America is not loved in the Arab world. (You know, as opposed to pre-2003, when the Arab world just gushed with girlish glee over America.)

The University of Marylan Zogby International poll published Friday was conducted in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in October.

…Seventy-eight percent of people questioned believed the Iraq war had resulted in more terrorism than before, while 58 percent said it brought less democracy, with only nine percent believing it enhanced democratic development.

Funny thing that, as The Kid notices, that this poll on the Iraq Campaign neglected to survey actual Iraqis. Perhaps they might have better insight over whether the actions of the United States brought democracy to the region.

In a similar vein, much has been made about the recent revelation of secret shi’a prisons, one of which was raided by American troops where evidently the sunni prisoners were being tortured. This is altogether proper to highlight. It would also be proper to highlight this
Interior Minister Bayn Jabr dismissed Nouri al-Nouri, the ministry’s chief inspector for corruption cases and human rights violations, on the order of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, an official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Al-Nouri, a Shiite Muslim, had been in the post since the handover of sovereignty to Iraqi in June 2004.

Al-Jaafari, a Shiite, ordered an investigation into the alleged mistreatment of up to 173 detainees after U.S. forces entered an Interior Ministry lockup on Nov. 13 and found that some of those being held showed signs of torture.

This is a big deal. Al-Nouri is a player within the shi’a political community. Will he be taken care of by his political godfathers? Undoubtedly.

But here we have perhaps the first example within the Arab world of a high official being removed from his post not because of the displeasure of his higher-ups, but because he did something wrong and is being held accountable by the political system.

We have here an indication that the new Iraqi political system, for whatever its flaws, can work. Whatever the desires of the shi’a's political elite and the Jaafari government (who would not want to jettison him), they felt the pressure from Iraq’s political minorities, international pressure and a vibrant free press who refused to let the story die. The Jaafari government was forced to throw him over the side and review their policies. This is how democracy works, and it is working, however fitfully, in Iraq.

Also note: The MSNBC story headlined the news that suicide bombings have been reduced to their lowest level in 7 months - due the increasing effectiveness of new Iraqi security forces and better U.S. tactics. Quagmire indeed.


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