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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Kerry is right 

Kerry Places Stability in Iraq Above a Democracy
Kerry is being realistic, and people are trashing him for it. What happened to all the avowals to support Kerry right or wrong because the goal is to beat Bush!
Anyway, Kerry says the US needs to "transition to stability that recognizes people's rights" -- and I'm sorry, folks, but that is absolutely the best that the US can do now. Counterpsin complains that this stance is unconscionable and wrong
But its not.
First of all, Kerry recognizes that the US has discredited itself by its arbitrary arrests, stealing money from people, shooting up mosques, corruption in contracts, etc If this is the way America has let its best and brightest behave, then why would Iraqis believe that America's democracy will benefit them? The US is part of the problem now in Iraq. It is not part of the solution anymore, if it ever was.
A federal-provincial system might work eventually in Iraq, like the Canadian system, where the three provinces (Kurd, Sunni, Shiite) have a great deal of local autonomy with the federal government having authority over areas like foreign policy. But there will be years of squabbling over resource revenues before such a system could be implemented, and the US cannot mediate such a dispute since its self-interest in Iraq oil revenues will discredit everything it says or does. Only the UN can help Iraqis work through these problems and eventually achieve a constitutional democracy that is workable. In the meantime, the best that can be achieved is a caretaker government, likely run by the imans and the tribal sheiks, with a charter that establishes human rights and a court system for administering its laws.
Heck, our Assembly of First Nations works this way -- the chiefs are elected or selected in some manner by each of the member bands or tribal councils, then the chiefs elect the National Chief and the other officers. There is some agitation now for direct election of the Chief, and eventually they will likely do that, but the system works for now.
Second, Kerry is right that no government of any kind can become established unless security is established first. It was the US invasion that screwed up Iraq's civil order, so ithe US has the primary responsibility to fix that. If the Pentagon would focus on this, it would help.
Bush promotes the idea that American deaths are justified in pursuit of a mythical democracy, because he is trying to rationalize his own grandiosity. But basically, like in Vietnam, America has to realize that there is no justification for the deaths of its sons and daughters in Iraq. I only hope that Iraq doesn't end with another scramble for the last helicopter out.

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