Saturday, December 15, 2007
Two Years Ago
Two years ago to the day, 12.4 million Iraqis - almost 80% of those eligible - went to the polls to elect their first permanent parliament since the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime.
From wikipedia: Iraqis in the predominantly Sunni city of Husaybah, wait in lines to vote, during the Iraqi legislative election, December 15, 2005. Just a few weeks earlier, Soldiers and Marines battled insurgents in this city, located along the Syrian border.
Few people today would say the elected Iraqi government has performed well. However, in the face of the largest terrorist campaign in modern history as well as a domestic and international peanut gallery that's irrationally sympathetic to the government's violent opposition, I'd say they have at least beaten the odds by surviving. With their term now halfway over, I hope they capitalize on the grass-roots movements now willing to move Iraq forward. Perhaps the first half of their term was focused on their survival, and the second half will be focused on real improvements for the Iraqi people. We'll see.
It does look like Iraq's democracy will at least survive until the next national election, now only two years away. Maybe the Iraqi government looks like a trainwreck at times (yeah, and so does ours!), but with practice maybe Iraqis'll get worthwhile elected leaders. We're still trying here in the US, so stick with it, OK.
In the meantime... Congratualtions, Iraq, for what you've accomplished so far.
From wikipedia: A group of Iraqi citizens walk down a path showing their purple fingers, signifying that they voted in their country’s first parliamentary election. Iraqi citizens elected their first permanent parliamentary government, which will lead the new democracy for the next four years. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Michael J. O'Brien