Sunday, January 30, 2005

Will anyone give Bush credit?

The first multi-party election in Iraq for 50 years has taken place, and with over 60% of those registered turning up, it has clearly been a success. When you consider that fewer people bother to vote in the U.S. Presidential elections, it really puts things into perspective.

Take into account the fact that in the Sunni triangle, voters stayed away out of protest, and then consider that in many parts of the country, people stayed away for fear of their lives. It makes today's result all the more incredible. Many predicted and many more of us feared that the streets would flow with blood, and the polling stations would be deserted. It didn't happen. Despite the tiresome claim that democracy and Islam are incompatible, the Iraqi people turned out in their masses, and in doing so demonstrated that the Arab world is no different from anywhere else.

When the liberal media goes to print, they will no doubt praise the Iraqi people for risking everything to cast their vote. But will the person who made it all possible, G.W. Bush get a mention? Never. And will they have the courage to admit that maybe, just maybe, the invasion of Iraq made democracy possible? Not a chance! At worst, they will call the new government a puppet state, and at best they'll say: 'OK, Iraq has democracy, satisfied? Now get the troops out!'. For the Guardian and Independent, nothing will have really changed.

Today's result vindicates President Bush's policy, and makes a mockery of the EU's ambition to be an alternative sphere of influence in the world. Watch Britain, France and Germany in their futile effort to negotiate with Iran. And when diplomacy fails, guess who'll be picking up the pieces?!