Today, the stakes were high in Iraq. Various monsters worth liquidation are trying to stop the elections by killing innocent people. That's very bad but the good news is that many of those guys can only be used once. And most Iraqis did not care about these thugs anyway. The central election committee estimated a very nice turnout, about 72 percent. Some world media were much more skeptical. The Iraqis outside their fatherland were voting, too. I personally expected the turnout to be high.
The "parties" are not terribly political - they usually represent the interests of various ethnic groups or sects. What I find encouraging is that many groups of bad guys are boycotting the elections. These groups are mostly organized Sunni Arabs:
- Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party (banned)
- Iraqi Islamic Party
- Association of Muslim Scholars
Well, it's their free decision to exit the democratic system, and I think that the system may be better off without them. It won't be easy to argue that the elections were not legitimate if the turnout is around 70 percent. We have already seen what Ba'ath socialism looks like and it's a good time for the Ba'athists to look for a new job. The other two groups I mentioned are fundamentalist morons - they're the Iraqi counterparts of the Taliban, and the good people of Iraq may also be happier if these morons don't oxidate in the Parliament. I expect that the winner will be
- United Iraqi Alliance
which is a party containing mostly Shia Arabs of all possible flavors, including radical islamists as well as liberal secularists and others - it's currently led by the Ayatollah al-Sistani. My emotions about this large group are zero. This group would establish a new kind of Iran in Iraq - and how this new Iran will look like will depend on the "details".
My favorite party is, of course
- Iraqi List,
a secular Shia party of Iyad Allawi, a modern pro-Western group led by a neurobiologist. There are also several Northern ethnic parties such as
- Iraqi Turkmen Front
- Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan
These groups include muslims, traditionalists, as well as communists and social democrats. Although the Sunni minority will definitely lose power compared to Hussain's era, don't think that the Sunni Arabs are not represented. Their strongest party participating in the polls is called
- The Iraqis
and is led by the current president Ghazi Al-Yawer. I am less excited about them than about Iyad Allawi, but their success would not be a disaster, I think. He could transmute Iraq into a new kind of Jordan which does not sound too bad either. In fact, in the current context of Iraq, even the rest of the list does not look like a disaster to me. They include the following groups:
- People's Union, led by the Iraqi communists
- Independent Alliance of Civil Societies, including feminists and human rights groups
Well, while feminism has nothing good to offer in the Western world of 2005 because it has become an anachronism, it may be refreshing in Iraq. I hope that my feminist friends will be flattered when I say that a new Iraqi government resembling the feminist wing of the Democratic Party would still represent progress for that country.
Finally, there are two other groups whose sign is positive in my opinion:
- Assyrian Democratic Movement (Christians - well, it would be great to baptize Iraq!)
- Independent Democrats Movement (of Adnan Pachachi who lived in exile)
So if I summarize: the parties that participate don't look as bad as you may think even though the future of Iraq will probably depend on the future of the United Iraqi Alliance which is highly ambiguous. The elections have a good chance to be viewed as legitimate ones. Iraq may be marching towards progress.
It seems that this Sunday has been a rather clear success. The killers in Iraq as well as their allies in the whole world will probably feel depressed. I expect an increased number of various anti-American nutcases to come to my blog and anonymously criticize America, capitalism, my blog, FOXnews, as well as everything else on "our side" of this war. Well, that won't be terribly surprising. They're the big losers today. On the other hand, freedom and democracy has won a battle. I hope that the losers will become even bigger losers in the near future, and the freedom-loving Iraqi people will become the winners.