Saturday, September 22, 2007

Democracy In Iraq

Well General Petreus spoke to Congress recently, and managed to sit quietly through a barrage of insults from members of our legislature who have the intestinal fortitude of a hummingbird. So little in fact, that they couldn't stand up to the despicable acts of their own support groups and felt the need to pander to them and pass judgement on the General's statement even before he made it. (For those of you in, you can only be grateful that dueling is no longer legal.) 

With more restraint than I would be able to show in a thousand years, this General honestly conveyed the success of the military strategy in Iraq. Isn't it interesting that with the troop surge in Iraq seeming to take hold and gain positive results, that the focus of attention shifted immediately to the fact that the government of Iraq is not making sufficient progress in getting it's house in order. 

First it was the fact that it took the Iraqi's from November of 2003 to March of 2004 to write a Constitution, and from then to October of 2005 to get the document ratified. Now, it appears to be that the Iraqi government cannot seem to reach a consensus in the representation of its citizens, and that there is too much infighting going on for this government to rule properly. How soon we forget ...  

The American Revolution began in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence and ended in November of 1784 when the final British troops left New York. This peace treaty itself was finally ratified in January of 1784. The Constitution of the United States was not created until September of 1787, with ratification of that document not occurring until June of 1788. 

Maybe I am missing something here, but it appears that the government and the people of Iraq have been far more timely in both the writing and the ratification of a constitution than our own government was. As for criticisms by our Congress over the infighting in the Iraqi government and its inability to run its own affairs, one has to laugh. Doesn't the Bible tell us to remove the beam from our own eye before looking to the splinter in our neighbors?
  • Can this same Congress, that cannot protect the borders of this country from incursion, complain of a similar problem in Iraq?
  • Can this Congress find fault with the Iraqi government for protecting it's citizens from a sizable criminal element when they cannot do the same?
  • Can this Congress, that cannot seem to be able to get beyond political infighting that makes the Hatfields and McCoys seem like a game of "Family Feud", throw stones at Shiites and Sunnis who cannot get over thousands of years of their history overnight?
  • Can this Congress that treats its leader, President Bush, like a red-haired stepchild look down it's nose at the wrangling between the Prime Minister and the Congress in Iraq?
  • Can we truly find fault with the government of Iraq, which is only now truly beginning the journey on the road to self-rule and coming out of years of dictatorship and war, for not accomplishing what the United States government has struggled to accomplish for the last 200 years?
Well I guess we can, at least while there is a chance of making political gain out of it. I guess partisan politics and the single-minded pursuit of power will allow us to ignore our own faults and shortcomings if there is any opportunity to throw stones at the current administration or the political party in power. I guess that we have become so short-sighted that all we can see in another person's misery is a chance for selfish gain.

Democracy is a difficult form of government to achieve, as we ought to have discovered over the last 200 years. It requires luck, brains, and the will of good people if it is to have any chance. More importantly, as our own example shows, it takes time. Perhaps we should spend a bit more time trying to preserve our own democracy and let the people of Iraq have the time to find the path to theirs.

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all of the others that have been tried. - Sir Winston Churchill


Maggie Thurber said...

great post!!!

Tim Higgins said...

High praise from a distinguished source. Maggie's own blog, Thurber's Thoughts, sets a standard that we all hope to at least approach.