Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Iraqi politics becoming more democratic

'The costs of the Iraq war have been great and perhaps indefensible. But Iraq could still turn out to be an extraordinary model for the Arab world. Its people are negotiating their differences for the most part peacefully; its politics is becoming more pluralistic and democratic; its press is free; its provinces have autonomy; its focus has shifted to business and wealth creation, not religion and jihad. At a conference in Baghdad last October, the Iraq government focused on its current obsession -- investment. It released a well-produced document, "Open for Business," that details the business opportunities that await capitalists in Iraq. Politics in Iraq feels different from other Arab countries. Friday sermons in Baghdad are mostly about the corruption and competence of Iraq politicians, not the evil designs of America of the perfidy of the Jews. It could be the weakening of the victim complex in which the Arab world has been stuck -- forever seeing itself as acted upon by foreign forces and never in charge of its own destiny.

In 2010, the Obama administration has a window of opportunity to push these positive trends forward. If they stay engaged, are successful, and get lucky, perhaps this is what America will ultimately be remembered for in Iraq.'

Thanks to Iraq Pundit for posting about Zakaria's article.

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