CHANFIRJI: "I CALL THIS THE SECRET ELECTIONS . . . THERE WILL BE SURPRISES"
"This is the day G-d created we shall enjoy and delight in it," this is a line from the Jewish holiday prayer book but I believe it describes the way Middle Eastern people everywhere feel. Even the NYT cannot ignore the pure joy and determined defiance which permeates the region. Iraqis lead the parade but do not be fooled, the rest of the Arab world is eager to follow. Afghanistan was interesting. But the results were predictable. The same was true in the Palestinian territories where Fatah just paid for its insistence that there be no surprised in the presidential elections. Wishing to throw the corrupt administrators out, the Palestinians had to vote for Hammas.
The Iraqi elections are different. They are real. The people know it and the elites fear it. Naseer K. Chadiri, a one time member of the Iraqi governing council worries"that some people will get more that their fair share of the votes.""Fair share?" Sounds like our Lani Guinier 's idea of nullifying real democratic choice. It is reminiscent of all the voices suggesting that the elections results should not reflect true Sunni representation. Much better to tell the truth - elections matter and you better get your act together and participate this time or next time.
You may be also be interested in WALID PHARES's invaluable report of the pre-election Iraqi debate.
Bravo to those who not only conceived the brilliant idea of a 14 country vote but kept it under the radar, so as to get the Iranians, Jordanians and Syrians to agree. Last night I heard an Egyptian who just returned from Israel and the Palestinian territories telling the BBC that now he understands the reason Mubarak does not want Egyptians to visit Israel."Who ever understands, understands" as we say in Israel.
There are good news from the Middle East as a whole, as our friend Arthur Chrenkoff spells out and Iraqis are eager to lead the way. They certainly paid the price and deserve the chance. The sentiments of IRAQ THE MODEL are typical.
Iraq was the cradle of civilization, the place where the concept of the rule of law was born. Abraham, the smasher of idols, was born in Ur Casdim.
Tomorrow Iraqis will prove that our faith in them was justified. They can build not only destroy. Let's hope the price they will have to pay will not be exorbitant. But, then, nothing worthwhile has even been achieved without serious sacrifice.
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