Sunday, January 30, 2005

Iraq elections: success

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.


  1. This is the very best description of the political powers in Iraq I've seen so far. Thank you, lumo.


  2. Very informative. Your depth of knowledge on this issue is greatly appreciated.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. I erased a comment by a person who kind of defended the Iraqi killers. It may be more appropriate if someone shoot such people, but erasing the comment is the maximum I can do right now. ;-)

  5. Dear Lubos,
    You can erase my comments, you are doing a good job being part of this society, act like FOX, you who defend democracy are ruling this blog pretty much as a tirany. If that makes you feel happy, go for it, thank god you are just nobody, I cant even imagine you in power.
    You have no clue about the world you live and I'm afraid that doesnt seem to change. I wish you a happy life, people like you make me feel sad.
    Ok, just erase it, keep waving the flag of freedom.

    best regards.

  6. Dear anonymous communist,

    I would like to emphasize that this is my private blog, and I never intended to transmute it into a free democratic arena of communists like you. The only reason why I don't erase the last comment right now is to show my other readers what sort of comments I consider as trash.

    If you don't like this blog or FOX, please go away. I don't like you either. ;-)


  7. Dear Lubos,

    You make me think a lot - about the nature of physics today, about equal opportunity for women, about Iraq...

    I may not agree with you, but I am most grateful to you!

    Jim R

  8. No matter what one's political persuasion, one should be happy that the Iraqi election has gone off well, as per all published accounts.

  9. Thanks God the Iraq electron is over. That's the big story. On the other side, whoever wins the election, that's no story at all. I don't know who are the guys on the Iraq ballots. Probably no one knows. Lubos, do you know?

    Saying "stakes were high in Iraq". I don't know what stake? When you have something that could have two completely different outcomes, you can say the stakes are high. When the outcome makes little difference regardless who wins, especially when the outcome is largely predicted already before hand, there really is no stake.

    It is like LHC to string theory. Every string theoreticians like to bloast that they have a high stake in the LHC. The reality is they have no stake at all. Regardless of what comes out of LHC, string theory still makes no prediction, and still can not be falsified, and will continue to a correct but useless theory for a long time, regardless what comes out of LHC. So where is the stake?

    For Iraq, you can put up a show, but I really do not think any sort of true democracy is possible under foreign occupation. Because truely there are only one type of candidates who can make it onto the ballot. So whoever you vote really makes little difference. It's noe of our business and I just hope to get our kids out of that damn country as soon as possible.


  10. very successful!U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote :
    Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

    by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

    According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

    The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here.

    The fact that the backing of the electorate has gone to the generals who have been ruling South Vietnam for the last two years does not, in the Administration's view, diminish the significance of the constitutional step that has been taken.

    The hope here is that the new government will be able to maneuver with a confidence and legitimacy long lacking in South Vietnamese politics. That hope could have been dashed either by a small turnout, indicating widespread scorn or a lack of interest in constitutional development, or by the Vietcong's disruption of the balloting.

  11. How dare you cite on this blog an article from that Commie publication, the New York Times?

  12. Nice article about Vietnam. Well, we will see whether it's the same thing as Iraq or not. I guess not.

    There are many issues about the New York Times, but on this blog, it is respected as a leading newspaper. You can't really compare it with some of the other critics of e.g. FOX above.

  13. comments on the parallels and differences of iraq and vietname

  14. Dear lubos,
    you are so predictable...
    though I have to admit that reading you made me laugh for a while, good job :)
    I'm happy for the iraqui people, although I am afraid of what is going to happen after US decides to step back.
    We'll see, the big leap stil to come.

    best regards.

    "Fidel" :p

  15. Wow. I always thought that Castro was an infidel - and in fact, he is a Fidel! :-)

  16. While you're at it, eliminate him too

  17. please don't baptise anyone.
    a physics student

  18. Dear physics student, I am not a Christian and certainly not a priest, so it will be hard for me to baptize anyone. ;-) On the other hand, the Christians in Iraq will be baptizing others who allow for it, and be sure that I support it much more than new members for Al-Zarqawi group.