Showing posts from December 20, 2005

Democracy is spreading in the Middle East

In Palestine, Hamas activists have won major local elections in the West Bank (here in a scene from a Palestinian version of The Birth of a Nation) And in Iraq, the Shiites are poised to take power (here seen celebrating Mardi Gras). Edward Wong reports in the NYT today that early results of voting in Iraq (two-thirds of the vote) indicated that religious groups, particularly the main Shiite coalition have taken a commanding lead. The secular coalition led by Ayad Allawid had won only meager support, and our pal Chalabi won less than 1 percent of the votes in the Baghdad. The following piece was written before that news. But it makes the same point, that the Iraqis are voting against ethnic and religious lines, and that those parties that are committed to asserting these identities are winning in Iraq -- and will probably win in the rest of the Arab world if and when Iraqi style democracy arrives there. Leon Hadar Business Times - 20 Dec 2005 Turning the corner in Iraq - yet again Thi