• Something Is Rotten in the State of Iraq

    October 14, 2011

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Iran, Iraq, Other Ideas

    Kenneth Pollack, in The National Interest, has a very interesting article titled “Something Is Rotten in the State of Iraq,” on the sad state of Iraq’s “democracy,” describing things as follows:

    The government itself, including the prime minister’s own staff, acts extraconstitutionally, unconstitutionally, illegally or downright dangerously from time to time…

    Meanwhile, the Iraqi economy remains a basket case…

    The big losers are the Iraqi people. They got exactly the opposite of what they voted for. They wanted an effective, technocratic government free of sectarianism and warlords. They wanted leaders who would concentrate on rebuilding Iraq and improving their lives. They got none of that…

    Iraq’s biggest winners? Violent extremists. In return for backing al-Maliki’s return to the prime ministership, the Sadrists got control of a number of important social ministries and a free hand in southern Iraq…

    For nearly a year, Iraqi politics came to a complete halt. All of the provisions in the constitution regarding the timetables for forming a new government were ignored. It set a terrible precedent, undermining the nascent effort to foster rule of law. It derailed the momentum of Iraqi democracy. And it established a dangerous standard: that what matters most is not how the people vote but rather how the parties politick afterward…

    This de facto national-unity government simply took all of Iraq’s political differences and brought them into the government itself, paralyzing the cabinet and much of the bureaucracy…


    Pollack somehow oddly concludes that all of this can be overcome by US engagement with Iraq, without offering much evidence or explanation. Even with that said, the picture he paints is dark, with more clouds on the horizon.

    Read the entire article at The National Interest.



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