Friday, October 7, 2005 at 10:07 AM
In the grand tradition of American democracy, Iraqi Shia and Kurds joined forces in their provisional parliament last Sunday and unilaterally changed Iraq’s electoral law to make it almost impossible for disgruntled Sunnis to undermine the ratification of Iraq’s draft constitution. The change they decreed stated that:
“The two-thirds majority needed in three provinces to defeat the constitution will now be counted from all registered – as opposed to actual – voters.”
Imagine their bewilderment, therefore, when the Americans led the international chorus of critics condemning their legislative manoeuvre. After all, the Shia and Kurds were probably inspired by the Republicans in the Florida legislature who changed their state’s electoral laws to favour George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential election recount. And, ironically, the change these pioneering Iraqis made was only intended to guarantee another political victory (albeit pyrrhic) for their patron, President Bush, when the votes are counted after the 15 October referendum.
But, acting as a parent might with an unruly child, the Americans reprimanded the Shia and Kurds by telling them, in effect, to do as we say, not as we do. And, as a result, the Iraqis have been forced to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by reversing their legislative act.
Click here to see why the Shia and Kurds were so determined to have their way and why the Americans are becoming less credible everyday in the Muslim world as stewards of democracy (a credibility deficit that will only worsen with the recent court ordered release of more Abu Ghraib photos).
Note: It was almost surreal to see President Bush give war-weary Americans a pep talk on his global war on terrorism yesterday that, alas, must have frustrated more than inspire them. Click here to see why….