Monday, August 29, 2005

Iraq's Road to Modernity

Fire of Liberty
Mark Steyn has a wonderful piece in the Chicago Sun-Times that takes on the Doubting Thomas's within the media and the US Senate who keep on running around like a Chicken Little crying "the sky is falling" as the delegates in the Iraq constitutional convention hit some roadblock our bumps along the way in drafting the final draft of the Iraqi constitution. Its like these individuals haven't read a lick of history about how the US struggled 11 years to create our constitution or the countless years it took the Japanese or Germans to write a new constitution after WWII. Instead of pointing out some area or dispute between the Sunnis, Kurds and Shia at the constitutional convention as an example of Iraq coming apart at the seems, you'd think these folks would be happy that the Iraqi people are sitting down at a table arguing over the future of Iraq instead of fighting each other in the streets. No matter how messy the process may be it's just an example of the democratic process at work in a land that has endured some thirty plus years of hell under Saddam, so let's give them a little bit of slack if they have a few problems or snags along the way.

As always, Mark Steyn seems to put everything in perspective with his powerful pen , err um, his keyboard. Just take a look:
If you'd been asked in 2003 to devise an ideal constitution for Iraq's very non-ideal circumstances, it would look something like this: a highly decentralized federation that accepts the reality that Iraq is a Muslim nation but reserves political power for elected legislators -- and divides the oil revenue fairly.

And if it doesn't work? Well, that's what the Sunnis are twitchy about. If Baathist dead-enders and imported Islamonuts from Saudi and Syria want to make Iraq ungovernable, the country will dissolve into a democratic Kurdistan, a democratic Shiastan, and a moribund Sunni squat in the middle. And, in the grander scheme of things, that wouldn't be so terrible either.

In Iraq right now the glass is around two-thirds full, and those two thirds will not be drained down to Sunni Triangle levels of despair. There are 1 million new cars on the road since 2003, a statistic that no doubt just lost us warhawks that Sierra Club endorsement but which doesn't sound like a nation mired in hopelessness. A new international airport has been opened in the north to cope with the Kurdish tourist and economic boom. Faruk Mustafa Rasool is building a 28-story five-star hotel with a revolving restaurant and a cable-car link to downtown Sulaimaniya.

To be sure, we shouldda done this, and we shouldda done that. Yet nonetheless Iraq advances day by day. The real quagmire is at home, where the kinkily gleeful relish of defeatism manifested by Cindy Sheehan, Joan Baez, Ted Kennedy et al. bears less and less relationship to anything happening over there. Iraq's future is a matter for the Iraqis now -- which, given the U.S. media, Democrat blowhards like Joe Biden and Republican squishes like Chuck Hagel, is just as well.
Ladies and gentlemen, I recommend that we thank our lucky stars that the Iraqi people are facing such minor issues in the formulation of their constitution. But if you listened to the MSM you'd think differently.

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