The inevitable approaches

Washington caves on Iraqi sharia:

The Bush administration has insisted Iraqis have the right to form their own government but has, at the same time, explicitly said it would not countenance the kind of clerical rule that took root in Iran.

Now, despite its long-held position – and in the face of insurgent threats – Washington has signaled its willingness to make “Islamic principles” the standard for legislation….

Kurdish negotiators, who oppose making Islam the ultimate source of law or subjecting legislation to religious tests, are outraged at Washington’s apparent flip-flop.

“We understand the Americans have sided with the Shi’ites,” one secular Kurdish politician said. “It’s shocking. It doesn’t fit American values. They have spent so much blood and money here, only to back the creation of an Islamist state. I can’t believe that’s what the Americans really want or what the American people want.”

Translated, this means that the Iraqi people don’t have the right to form their own government if it isn’t to our liking, unless they really want to be stubborn about it. I know I’m shocked….

There are two choices in Iraq. Genuine democracy and the resultant Islamic state, or military rule, however disguised by legal contortions and democratic trappings. It is important to remember that three of the four Islamic countries where elections have been permitted, secular governments rule only by virtue of army support. The Algerian civil war still continues as a result of the one election that was held there and the Turkish army has instigated three military coups in order to prevent elected politicians from establishing an Islamic state. The Pakistani government has been precarious for years and can’t even trust its own security agencies; only Indonesian democracy does not rely completely on a foundation of military rule and many do not consider it a genuine representative democracy.

If it weren’t for the fact that US soldiers still are at risk in Iraq, I’d quite enjoy watching the administration’s ridiculous plans play out so predictably.