1st February 2005

- IRAQ -

Last week there was a massive (60% of those eligible according to Al Jazeera) turnout in the Iraq elections.  Given the Economists estimate of a 25% turnout in the Sunni triangle, this means that there was a 70% turnout of eligible voters in the Kurdish and Shiia regions.

Such a setback is further evidence of the predicted failure of Islamic terrorism, which evidence should persuade those except liberal journalists like those on the
BBC apologises over Iraqi figures who were all too ready to publish their own biased perceptions of the cause of war deaths, and like the writers of the English version of Arab newspaper Al Jazeera.   Al Jazeera is actually quite impartial considering it's audience.  It's partiality is that it selects material only on Arabic matters.  This Iraqui birth in fire will form the legend that will inspire this young representative democracy in the centuries of liberty that will hopefully follow.  I suspect that the USA has produced a lasting and permanent friend.

Perhaps bad loser liberals John Kerry and Senator Kennedy (for which see their comments quoted in Al Jazeera) should consider the motes in their own eyes.  (For instance, just what is the voter turnout rate in the USA?)  In any event, the election was for the production of an Iraqui constitution.  Even if the Sunni triangle does not have representatives who have a majority mandate, the policies of those representatives will be scrutinized by the free press in the region, and any extreme and unfair constitutional initiatives will be made clear to those represented and to the rest of the world.

That is the power of a free press.

I believe that America has done the right thing in Iraq.  The voter turnout against threats of death by Al Quaida and local Sunni terrorists indicates that a majority of Iraqis appreciate the effort made by the USA.  History is in the making.  Analysis shows that most international objections are from those arab nations that might have fears that democracy might destabilize their own cosy dictatorships, and from old Europe, whose leaders might fear that new democratic regimes will eventually force modernization of their own corrupted bureaucracies (and perhaps confirm the rumours of corrupt acceptance of bribes by the politicians of Russia and France.)

Apparently self confessed liberal Mark Brown writing for the Chicago Sun Times also believes that USA might have done the right thing.

"But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?"

He also wrote:

"And if you were with the president from the start, I've already got your blood boiling."

Hey Mark, some of us who "were with the president from the start" forgive you.  Basically, you were never really a "true blue" liberal, because, hey, true blues are totally unable to ever change their stripe or spots or whatever.  Most of us anti-liberal types were once liberal, we just sorta grew out of it when we realized that "liberal" just dont work.  For instance, Sir Humphrey said in the BBC-TV show "Yes Minister", something along the lines: "We can give the minister just as many unemployed as he is prepared to pay social security to".

Meanwhile, in Australia's most prestigious university, Professor of political science and director of the Center for Arab & Islamic Studies Amin Saikal is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as having assessed that "it will not suit America's interest for the Shiites to gain government".

It is my belief that he is mistaken.  I do not believe (as he suggested) that Arab Shia Iraq will be subservient to Non-Arab Shia Iran.  The simple fact is, democracy in Iraq will tend to destabilize Iran, (and most of the other Muslim dictatorships nearby) because the Mullahs in Iran do not permit Iranians to exercise a democratic choice at elections.  It is my suspicion that the good Professor might have his own axe to grind.  Perhaps he did not anticipate the (to me obvious) success of the USA's Iraqui election strategy?  Perhaps he made the mistake (like Australian think tank ASPI in similar circumstances) of making a prediction that has since turned to dust?

The problem is, our political system is broken.  One of the most persuasive indicators of that failure is the quality of the taxpayer funded purchase of advice to government.