Sunday, January 30, 2005

The word of the day is: election.

I saw Christopher Hitchens on C-SPAN earlier today, accurately describing the al-Zarqawi scum as not the "Arab Street," and not even the "Arab sewer." They are, as declared agents against democracy in Iraq, beneath contempt. They are hateful and murderous, and though the election today will not stop them killing ever more people, it will prove that the job in Iraq is getting done.

It may be said that this is not an election proper. I doubt that it matters to Iraqis. I think there is great symbolic currency in elections, even (especially?) in one so limited in practical effect. There was this election, there will be a constitutional congress, there will be a ratification vote on October 15, and a final election on December 15. The country will go into effect independent of the US occupation authority by the end of the year.

Those opposed to the Iraq election did not stop it. I doubt they will stop any of the other dates in the process. The next big date I will look for will be when the Iraqi government, such as it is elected, executes a Status of Forces Agreement with the United States. That will be real power, the power of the central government to enter into an international treaty. SOFAs are a big deal--I lived in a few countries under their protections and rules, and have retained some measure of respect for what they represent.

It's a good day for Iraq and for the world.

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