Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Iraqi Elections - Go or No-Go?

United Nations special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says elections can't be held January 30th under the present conditions. President George W. Bush says we must not delay. Who's right? A little context is in order...

Let's deal with the credibility of Mr. Brahimi first. In the same interview, he says "...if the Americans and Allawi kill 50 people who they consider the enemy, they drive another 500 enemies into the resistance. That's not an improvement." Does that perhaps give you a clue as to his impartiality? "...who they consider the enemy..." - what can this possibly mean to any reasonable person? Here is a partial list of reasons we "consider" the "insurgents" the enemy:

1. They mutilate and rape men, women and children.

2. They are responsible for the deaths of over 1200 coalition troops post - major combat.

3. They killed a charity worker who spent her whole life working for the good of Iraqis.

4. They employ beheadings and other sadistic tactics (oh, and we're supposedly ignoring the Geneva Convention by holding terrorists at, hoo).

5. They are endorsed by Michael Moore.

Some more facts about Mr. Brahimi...he called Israel a 'poison' hindering progress in Iraq. He is pro-Sunni and not impartial. He has been accused of impeding the Oil-For-Food investigation in Baghdad. (Is corruption a requirement for employment at the U.N.?) I think the above allows us to safely ignore Mr. Brahimi's statements.

Still, the question remains: Can the Iraqis hold elections on January 30th? Should they? I believe they can and should, and here is my argument (look here for a different perspective):
  • We don't know when Iraq will be 'secure'. Holding off on elections until we are convinced that there will be no disruptions only gives the upper hand to the terrorists. The message would be: keep attacking, and democracy won't happen.
  • An elected Iraqi government will hold more credibility among Iraqis and other Arabs. No government that carries the stamp of U.S. control will ever be seen by the conspiracy elements of the Arab street as legitimate. Elections will help alleviate that.
  • The troops will come home sooner. A legitimately elected Iraqi government will give Iraqis a greater stake in protecting their country, and I suspect recruitment for the police and armed forces would increase accordingly.
I believe firmly in Bush's vision of a transformative, democratic Iraq. Freedom will defeat tyranny. The January elections will be a substantive step forward.

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