Monday, January 24, 2005

 

Another "Duh" Headline From The A.P.

"Iraq Election Big Test for Bush Mission."

Uh, sure, okay. I think we know that already, but thanks for reminding us guys.

Nothing really interesting in the article, but I always have to give a shout-out whenever one of my college professors gets quoted:

"Simply having a vote by itself is relatively meaningless. The question is whether the people who are elected can do the job," said Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst and Iraq expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"Merely having people go to the polls can always be claimed to be a success. And I'm sure the administration will claim just that, while a good part of the Arab world will claim it's a failure," he said.
Come now, Tony. I'll bet that the Arab world won't be alone in claiming the election is a failure. There's still CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Democratic Party leadership, Michael Moore, MoveOn.org, Bill Maher and Linda Rondstadt to consider.

Another guy I respect, Mike O'Hanlon, says something I disagree with:

Michael O'Hanlon, a foreign policy scholar at the Brookings Institution, said the expected low turnout by Iraq's Sunni Arabs, who ruled Iraq for eight decades, probably would guarantee that few Sunnis would win election to the new parliament. That would heighten the anger among Sunnis and build sympathy for the insurgents.

"Maximizing Sunni involvement strikes me as a critical aspect to reducing their support for the insurgency," O'Hanlon said. He said he favors a short postponement in the election for behind-the-scenes efforts to persuade more Sunnis to participate. That seems unlikely.
Hey, in a perfect world, every Iraqi-- Sunni, Shiite, or Kurd-- would vote in the election, and accept the results as legitimate. But we all know nothing in this world-- aside from Hostess Ding Dongs-- is perfect.

Plus, last time I checked, the Sunni minority is enabling the insurgency-- either through their willing cooperation with, or willful ignorance of, the evils in their midst. Maybe it's only fair for them to lose the election.

What concerns me most right now isn't whether the election goes off without a hitch; I'm confident that we'll witness a tough day of successes combined with tragic violence.

What worries me is what government replaces the sure-to-be-defeated Allawi government. The elections could easily bring about an Iraqi government significantly less cooperative with America.

That probably wouldn't make much of a difference in the short run, as the security situation should prevent any reasonable Iraqi government from calling for an immediate American withdrawal. Still, eventually we might see an Iraqi government less hostile to the terrorist threat.

As long as the Shiite vs. Sunni dynamic is there, I doubt a Shiite government would be all that accommodating to the ex-Baathists; in fact, the alternative is more likely. But I wouldn't be surprised if the next Iraqi government is more willing to cut deals with the foreign terrorists in exchange for security. And such a result is most definitely NOT in American interests.

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This posting was made on my personal computer.

Comments:
Dave:

WHOA. Allawi's going to lose? First I'd heard about that. Enlighten us!

And what's that going to do for Bush? It'll look bad if his boy gets hosed!
 
Alright alright. Lets not get all crazy now.. Alawi's still got a 40/60 shot here. And I'm optimistic that there will be no deals with terrorists any time soon. But then again, I don't have half the extra skull meat you got, so what the fuck do I know. BUT:

So long as Sunni terror mobs are yanking random Shia outa their cars at fake checkpoints, there aren't going to be any Sunni/Shia deals meted out by a Shia dominated government.

I think the real fear is a deal with the Iranian mullocracy.

OT(I'm all over you like a cheap suit back at the crib DAVE!)

HANS
 
Alright alright. Lets not get all crazy now.. Alawi's still got a 40/60 shot here. And I'm optimistic that there will be no deals with terrorists any time soon. But then again, I don't have half the extra skull meat you got, so what the fuck do I know. BUT:

So long as Sunni terror mobs are yanking random Shia outa their cars at fake checkpoints, there aren't going to be any Sunni/Shia deals meted out by a Shia dominated government.

I think the real fear is a deal with the Iranian mullocracy.

OT(I'm all over you like a cheap suit back at the crib DAVE!)

HANS
 
See-Dubya:

Yeah, I'm not too confident that Allawi can win, absent a little "creative counting" of the ballots, which American observers can't afford to allow.

There are simply too many Shiites in the game to give Allawi and his secular gov't a comfortable chance at winning, even with the advantage of incumbency (which, let's be honest, may not be much of an advantage given all the violence).

Personally, I'd love it if we could see a strong push by the Kurds, if only for the sense of ironic justice.

Hans--

RE: Iran, I didn't mention that fear, but it's one I share too. If anyone thinks there isn't going to be widespread Iranian "voting assistance" in Southern Iraq, I've got a lovely bridge to sell them. Hopefully, it'll either be so egregious as to be transparent to everyone, or it'll be so muted as to make no difference.

Fingers crossed. . .
 
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