There seems to be a concensus that since a militray solution is not possible, then we should focus on a political solution. I say, why not? But, as the system is now in Iraq, that would be a monumental undertaking. Is there another way? You bet, but it will not be popular.
Iraqi Political Solutions
In the beginning there was a plan and it was called democracy. And within the plan was the necessity for Saddam to go, once that was acheived, all else would fall into place. And all would live happily ever after. At least that was the plan.
Good Morning class.
Without going into a complete history lesson of the most recent Iraq war, we will just say–did not work out that way!
In the beginning the military would be used to bring about the end of Saddam and the stability for democracy. Did not work out that way!
A year ago when asked, Pres Bush said we were “absolutely” winning in Iraq. Is not working out that way!
Recently, the President has said that the solution for Iraq was not solely a military one (states the obvious) but that a political solution has got to be found. That the Iraq government must step up and do their part. Will it work out that way?
A political solution that is prophized is , at best, a flippin’ pipe dream!
OK, let us look at the situation in that light.
Does the Pres mean a solution within the current political atmosphere? If that is what he is eluding too–will not work out that way. Why? You may ask and the Professor will gladly enlighten you.
First, the politicians within the current government are pretty much hand picked by the US and are not representative of the average Iraqi population. Their sole common denominator is that most were opponents of Saddam. Is that enough to guarantee a real democracy? Not hardly! Only if you are a US politician or business person would you consider this a representative government.
Why can this Iraqi government not find a way to democracy? Good question! The simple answer is tribal mentality. To use the American experience in democracy is just short of stupid, nothing about Iraq would conform to that example. Why? The concept, in the West, of a strong Iraqi national sentiment does not exist. Has never existed! The people are defined, within the country, by their ethnic identity. Unlike in the US, where the parties are defined by ideology, in Iraq they are defined by ethnicity, instead of ideology.
Until the divisions of ethnicity are eliminated all decision made by a majority of parlimentaians, which will be Shi’a in favor of Shi’a, then all decisions will be strongly resisted by the others and the violence will continue and continue and …..
Professor? You seem to believe there is no way around the violence.
I do not have all the answers–believe it or not–but what about this:
In order to establish an equal voice among all political parties and prevent the domination of any majority party in the legislature, bills can be passed on the basis of the number of parties with majority approvals. If legislation is passed on the basis of a majority vote within political parties rather than a majority in parliament as a whole, the interests of diverse sects are taken into account since no one majority party can pass the legislation it most desires. If a majority of political parties vote in favor of a bill, it passes, but if the 113 members of the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance along with other Shiite groups constitute a majority in parliament and they all vote for the same bill, then that bill would not pass.
With this modification, policies most preferred by various sects will reflect national interests. Minority parties with no more than five members such as The Upholders of the Message, Iraqi Turkmen Front, and National Rafidain List, which currently hold seats with less than five members, could choose to vote alone or form coalitions to exercise their vote. Thus, it would not be the overall number in parliament that counts, but rather the numbers within the parties that decides the fate of legislation.
But Professor, can this be good for the people of Iraq?
There is no doubt that Iraq still needs time to develop its democracy, but the present day party politics in Iraq is a power struggle among groups competing for government control, and ultimately seeking benefits for their own sects. A new kind of majority rule based on the number of majority votes within parties can foster negotiation as no one majority party or sectarian group can dominate legislature in the Iraqi parliament.
Overall, laws that guide the function of government participation must enforce multiethnic unity for political parties to unify society. Ideas should be drafted to help Iraq develop a democracy that fosters multiethnic representation and cooperation.
Class, please keep in mind that these are just a few thoughts that could possibly help democracy find a home in Iraq and that the present day experiment is destined to be a complete failure and in so a stepping stone for another authoritarian to step up and demand power.
Class dismissed and you will be held responsible for the information in this lecture.