Thursday, July 09, 2009

Iraqi democracy comes with huge costs

It's not a perfect democracy and it must do much more to create a truly egalitarian society, but today's Iraq is more of a democracy than it was before 2003. The cost of democracy to Iraq has been huge, in terms of dollars and lives, and Iraq's Shi3a and Kurds continue to pay a heavy price for their freedom, even after US troops have withdrawn from Iraq's cities. Iraqi Sunni Arabs who fight the terrorists have also been attacked and murdered, many times with their wives and kids.

"In 2003, the United States ousted the last, and most brutal, of Iraq's Sunni Arab dictators. It smashed Iraq's army and then legally dissolved the Iraqi military, security services, and Ba'ath Party. The army and secret police were the institutions that had enabled Iraq's Sunni Arab minority to rule for eighty years. With these repressive institutions gone, Iraq's Shiite majority took power through democratic elections in 2005 and asserted sectarian control over key institutions, including police. In the constitutional negotiations in August 2005, the Kurds consolidated the independence they always wanted. The Sunni Arabs resented bitterly their loss of historic hegemony and violently resisted a Shiite-dominated new order. Civil war was always a possible, if not likely, outcome. The only remarkable thing is that it caught the Bush Administration by surprise."
--Peter W. Galbraith, The End of Iraq

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