The Iraq election debacle

Remember all those weeks back when Iraq held its election? On March 7th, to be exact. The geniuses in pundit-land decided to declare ‘Victory at Last.’ Meanwhile, a few skeptics pointed out the wishful thinking in such declarations.

Anyway, here we are, almost two months later, and the recount of 2.5 million votes has just begun. And, in another twist, Prime Minister Maliki’s team–the guys who wanted the recount in the first place–are already saying this recount isn’t going to be good enough for them, either.

But Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s election coalition, which had demanded the recount, said it should be halted because the elections commission was using improper procedures that would produce an inaccurate result.

What does this all mean? It means Maliki is going to try his best to hold onto power by almost any means necessary. It means that rather than being on a path to democracy, Iraq is likely on a path to some kind of quasi-dictatorship. It means, most importantly, that the clueless beltway crowd yet again preferred delusional thinking to reality.

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About michaelhastings

Journalist
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One Response to The Iraq election debacle

  1. Mr. Hastings,

    You wrote:”the clueless beltway crowd yet again preferred delusional thinking to reality”. I think that you are wrong here. I think that the “beltway crowd” know perfectly well that Iraq is not heading toward democracy, the rule of law, &c. The plan has been for a while to “declare victory and get the hell out before the place blows up”. Democracy is victory. If everyone says, together, real loud “There IS democracy, There IS victory” then we can get out faster. If people start to question the mantra, then we might not be able to get out of Iraq as quickly. The only issue on the agenda is how fast we can get out of Iraq, every news story coming out of Iraq is framed by that one question.

    It is like the video images of the Reuters employees getting cut to pieces by an Army helicopter crew. No one paid much attention because lingering over the details but that would only slow the withdrawal process, not speed it up. The same with the stories about torture in Iraqi jails, that is not a helpful story. However when two men thought to be at the top of al Qaeda in Iraq are killed, that gets attention, that helps us declare victory, that gets us out sooner rather than later.

    Everyone is just closing their eyes, covering their ears, and saying over and over again “We won, we won, we won…” knowing that the troops will mostly be out by Christmas.

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