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Democracy in Iraq
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I'm back in Dallas for the next week or so.

Thought I'd be back in stride on the blog last week, but writing something like 50 pages of stuff for my classes burned me clean out I suppose. And sometimes you just don't have anything to say.

But today's Iraqi elections seem to merit a few words. I suppose if you don't value democratic principles or if you're sure the whole Middle Eastern democratic experiment is doomed to failure before it's even gotten started then you could cynically dismiss today's elections. Otherwise, how could any American, of any party, see them as anything but great?

The whole phrase "democracy at gunpoint" is absurdly stupid for a number of reasons, but primarily because it implies that American soldiers are using their guns to force people to be democratic (i.e. pointing their guns at everyday citizens), rather than, of course, doing what they did, which is kill or capture the people who were running a fascist police state and allowing voting to occur.

In any case, I continue to not care that the Bush Administration's main case was built around WMD, because I was intelligent enough to realize that there was simply no shortage of reasons to eliminate the noxious governance of Saddam Hussein, and that in fact in should have been done a long time ago. Their stated priorities weren't all the same as mine...who gives a shit? Not doing the right thing because it benefits your political opponent is a petty and brutish stance. The point is, it's the right thing to do.

On an aside, I listened to NPR's coverage of the elections on the way up here. They of course focused on what little violence there was, but overall I'd say the coverage was all right. Although I thought this quote (as close as possible from my memory), by Ann Garrels (I think), is pretty funny:

Iraqis waited in long lines today to vote to put in place the first permanent government Iraq has seen since before the start of the Gulf War.

Nice way to frame it, Ann.

Anyway, congratulations to the people of Iraq. Today was fought and paid for by Americans and our allies, and we should be proud of it.

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