Thursday, August 19, 2004

Democracy in progress.

In another step towards a democratic Iraq; yesterday the national assembly successfully held the elections to form the Iraqi national council in an atmosphere that is entirely new for Iraqis. For the first time we saw free discussions with the absence of fear. No one man talking and the rest just listening and nodding their heads in approval. Many members were so eager to talk and show their opinions, interrupting each other many times and of course this is all natural as a result of being forced to silence for such a long time. This led to a mess many times but it didn’t last for a long time.
Objections and the existence of many different points of view in the same place are things that no one dared to do or even think of before.

What happened was huge indeed and people should realize that this is the fruit of toppling Saddam’s regime. The effects of democracy and free speech must not be underestimated but some people are not able to show enough patience to see the results and they are very anxious to judge the whole issue as a disaster whenever some difficulties appear. Some of these people just want us to fail, others are shortsighted and some are just worried about success and want it to happen tomorrow.

We’re on the right road despite all the big obstacles created by the enemies of humanity and governments governed by narrow minded politicians who seek only their individual or partisan benefit taking advantage of people’s natural rejection for war and violence in general.
Till now there is no evidence that the disturbances and troubles -fed by many countries and groups- could ruin the democratic process and this is the true victory in this decisive battle, as the democratic process in Iraq has not stopped and was not even delayed except for few days.
It’s the best reaction to the attempts of some powers to establish the rule of violence and gun power to ensure that the Iraqi model fail which if happens will ensure their (dictators) control over their nations, and it’s a message to the violence provokers in the neighborhood that the process is not going to stop and a democratic Iraq will be a fact soon.

This event coincided with an official escalation against the militias and other trouble makers and with a threat to them that they will be dealt with strictly after they refused to drop arms and stop violence time after time until their repeating refusal became an evidence (to those who didn’t see it at the beginning) that their means and attitude are their goal. They adopt violence just for the sake of spreading violence and chaos in Iraq. They showed no real demands, have threatened And took actions to destroy Iraq’s infrastructure. It has became clear that all they want is to stop the evolution of democracy and the building of new Iraq. We recall how the militias of the SCIRI, the INC and the Kurdish parties agreed to turn into political groups to participate in the political process while those idiots who still refuse to put down their guns have obviously placed the interests of their supporters from outside above the interests of Iraq.

The conference witnessed the withdrawal of some members objecting to the way the votes were taken, and although this is sad but I believe it’s natural and cannot be avoided and it happens in the best democracies when there are debates about critical and controversial issues. There was a negative outcome of this conference, that is the wining list of candidate was the one supported by the parties that have the majority in the government. However I think this was unavoidable and at the same time has good aspects too.

It was unavoidable because the small parties couldn’t organize and coordinate their efforts to create an alliance that can balance power inside the National Assembly. Time was short and after all it’s true that the parties in the government still represent more Iraqis than the rest and are more organized and experienced in politics.

While I think it’s good because most Iraqis support the government’s policy and actions against terrorists and gangs and they need as much support as possible which they did get from the assembly when they sent a delegate to Sadr with the same demands of the government. That delegate gave the government strong legitimacy in what it’s doing in Najaf.

It’s a complicated issue that we see here. We don’t want to support the government because we are afraid of giving it more power than needed and at the same time we don’t want to weaken it’s position in such a critical phase in our struggle against the power of darkness.

I was thinking about this for some time and I think that what we need right now is an honest opposition that backs the government in its war against terrorists and fanatics and at the same time stand against it as it (the government) tries to monopolize the political field which may end up with a distorted democracy or a faked one. Till now the “opposing” groups are not really opposition, they are just taking advantage of the freedom they have been given to show themselves as representatives of certain segments of Iraqis when all they were doing is ruining all Iraqis’ efforts to build Iraq. They lack any view for the future or any constructive ideas. All they are saying is that they are against the government because it’s not elected! Do they really believe that elections were possible without an interim government?! Their objections show that they are either totally ignorant or that they say things they don’t believe in just to take advantage of the inexperience of the majority of Iraqis when it comes to politics and elections just to stop democracy.

Yesterday’s elections were far from perfect but it gave us more experience that will serve all democratic political powers in the future, and from a strategic point of view, the fact that Iraqis managed to go on with their plans to establish democracy in such unstable circumstances and with fierce fighting taking place in some parts of Iraq is an outstanding victory for all of us and an event that shows the determination of Iraqis to keep the course no matter how dangerous it is. What happened yesterday was a serious blow to terrorists and fanatics and their supporters. It’s a clear message that says, “Do your best. It won’t stop us”

By Ali.

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