Reihan, baby, you know that I love you. You are, and I say this without the faintest hint of a shadow of a doubt, an absolute unwavering Bushian certainty, my favorite shaved-headed Bangladeshi conservative blogger.
But what the hell is the deal with the conservative obsession with “democracy” and “elections” the last 6 years?
I don’t have the time or the energy to get too deep into the weeds on this subject right now, but it seems to me that peace and relative stability are a necessary precursor to the building of a functioning governmental system. They’re not something which is brought about by a functioning governmental system. I’m sure this is a vast oversimplification, but just look at the difference between Germany after World War I, racked by massive reparation payments and out-of-control inflation, vs. West Germany after World War II, rebuilt by the Marshall Plan and given the opportunity to actually join Western Civilization?
I completely fail to understand how another set of elections held right now, with stability due in large part to increased American troop levels and the rank bribery of Sunni sectarian forces, are going to improve the likely long-term outcomes in Iraq. Until you can either settle the underlying racial and religious strife, or simply put people who hate each other on different sides of a border, owing allegiances to mostly autonomous governments, such as in Serbia and Kosovo, the removal of the forces which are propping up the government, and enforcing some manner of peace and stability, will result in nearly-immediate resumption of full-on hostilities between the groups who have seen, in the last 6 years, very little reason to stop hating one another.
I waiting until today to post this, because your post said that you would be putting up further thoughts about it last night. But you didn’t do so, and thus my response now. I really want to know why elections are more important than actually working to solve the problems on the Iraqi ground.
[cross-posted to The American Scene.]