Sunday, January 30, 2005

A Victory for the World?

The Iraqi street seems to have risen to the occassion in a show of courage that is impressive, even staggering. Congratulations are due to them.

Now, it is the time for the leaders - Iraqi, American and others. The Bush administration is well known for its Attention Deficit Disorder. Let's pray now that they do not let Iraqis to their own devices and move to Iran.

It's crucial time now for America - a time when allies turn opponents. Till now, the short-term goals of America and the Shiites, especially Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, have matched. But now, we have reached the fork. Sistani does not want a Vilayat-e-faqi (Iranian style govt). But then, neither does he want a Jeffersonian democracy.

Kurds will try to make sure that the eventual constitution makes it easy for them to retake Kirkuk, something the Turks and Sunnis would not be happy to see happen. Already, the KDP and PKU contested on a combined slate in these elections - with a promise to "protect Kurdish interests."

The first constitution of the liberated Iraq was a liberal document - straight from a Democrat Presidential Platform. Question now is, where do the Iraqis go from here? It will take himalayan diplomatic effort to set them on the road to the kind of democracy America wants in the Middle East - as opposed to one like Pakistan, where the civil relations is a sad joke.

Question is, is Bush administration, especially Condi Rice, upto the task? Let's hope so - it's too important for the world that they succeed.

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