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Iraq Voting

February 1st, 2005 | 1 min read

By Andrew Selby

You know that the voting in Iraq on Sunday was a success because even NPR was lauding it. Yesterday afternoon on the left-leaning news show “All Things Considered” two interviewees both were excited that the voting was positive. One was a professor of Middle East Politics at Columbia and the other was a long-time BBC Middle East correspondent. The professor thought that the (expected) Sunni win wouldn’t make Iraq into a state more oppressive like Iran. On the contrary, he thought that the Iranian government, which promoted the voting in Iraq with the expectation the Sunnis would win, hurt themselves because of the hypocrisy of them disallowing a free vote in their own country. The BBC correspondent looked forward to the possible drastic long-term effects of the vote in Iraq. He supposes that the entire region could be positively influenced for democracy supposing that the elected officials set up a just and stable government. He said that Iraqis, though at first miffed at having democracy “imposed” upon them, now (and probably later) deem it a good thing. I was amazed that the BBC man used the politically charged word “imposed” and then showed it had positive consequences.

All this has me optimistic that positive change is afoot in Iraq and freedom will spread to other areas of the Middle East.