Sunday, February 13, 2005

Bringing Theocracy to the Middle East

So Iraq held elections and everything is wonderful. But I can't help but be disturbed by a few paragraphs in this otherwise fawning article.
The election results highlighted the sharp differences among Iraq's ethnic, religious and cultural groups — many of whom fear domination not just by the Shiites, estimated at 60 percent of the population, but also by the Kurds, the most pro-American group with about 15 percent.

The results also draw attention to the close and longtime ties between now-victorious Iraqi Shiite leaders and clerics in neighboring Iran. The Shiite ticket owes its success to the support of Iraq's clerics, including Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Umm, are we sure this is good news? It seems like it might turn out to be more of a lateral move in the long term...

As I think we can see from the results of our last three major elections (Bitter? Not me!), voting is not what makes a country 'great.' The freedoms we take for granted in this country are more often threatened by the results of voting than they are guaranteed by voting.

What we seem to have done is created a government in Iraq that will echo the beliefs and values of the theocratic government of Iran.

Great! Because, you know, that's just what the area needs. More fundamentalist religion.

Instead of rushing towards elections (which, by the way, was not what our own founding fathers did), we should have been encouraging the formation of a Bill of Rights-type document, or a Constitution that ensures the separation of church and state and the basic rights of all citizens.

This, I believe, would ensure the unalienable rights of the Iraqi people (all the Iraqi people) to the pursuit of happiness than elections.

But what do I know, I'm just an athiest liberal.

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