Monday, August 15, 2005

A tribute to democracy and an example that difficult problems can be solved peacefully through debate, negotiation and compromise


If I understand this correctly, the Iraqi “National Assembly” didn’t quite break the rules in voting themselves another week to come to a deal, but since the rules were written by Americans anyway, who cares. The thing is, there is no consensus on any of the fundamentals, and I don’t know how you construct a state without that. You compromise on where to go for lunch, not on whether to have a federal form of government or not. These people simply do not want to be in the same state; the Shiites hate the Sunnis, the Sunnis hate the Kurds, the Kurds hate the Turkmen, and everybody hates... well, the Tom Lehrer fans know who everybody hates. As long as they’re all stuck in the same state together, it looks like political divisions will all break down along ethnic lines, and that always works so well.

Of course Talabani and the Bushies are making it sound like they’re just checking for typos, split infinitives, that sort of thing (the American ambassador blamed that darned sandstorm). Bush himself said that the “heroic efforts” of the negotiators “are a tribute to democracy and an example that difficult problems can be solved peacefully through debate, negotiation and compromise.” Well, it’s August, and we know he never reads his briefing papers in August.

(Update: Ah, Billmon wrote everything I did, but better and earlier, and some stuff I didn’t think of. Some days are like that.)


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