Iraq's Successful Elections
Other than video of purple fingers, the Iraq elections have become yesterday's news. News about spying didn't help...
Here's a report worth reading from CounterPunch writerPatrick Cockburn, who is in Baghdad:
The first results from the parliamentary election last week show that the country is dividing up between Shia, Sunni and Kurdish regions. The secular and nationalist candidate backed by the US and Britain was humiliatingly defeated.
The Shia religious coalition has won a total victory in Baghdad and the south of Iraq. The Sunni Arab parties who openly or covertly support armed resistance to the US are likely to win large majorities in Sunni provinces.
The election marks the final shipwreck of American and British hopes of establishing a pro-western secular democracy in a united Iraq. Islamic fundamentalist movements are ever more powerful in both the Sunni and Shia communities. "In two-and-a-half years Bush has succeeded in creating two new Talibans in Iraq," said Ghassan Attiyah, an Iraqi commentator.
The election was portrayed by President George W. Bush as a sign of success for US policies in Iraq, but in fact means the triumph of America's enemies inside and outside the country. Iran will be pleased that the Shia religious parties whom it has supported, often for decades, have become the strongest political force.
"People underestimate how religious Iraq has become," said one Iraqi observer. He added: "Iran is really a secular society with a religious leadership, but Iraq will be a religious society with a religious leadership." Already most girls leaving schools in Baghdad wear headscarves. Women's rights in cases of divorce and inheritance are being eroded.