Men wait in line to vote at a polling station in Samarra, Iraq.
America promised to bring democracy to Iraq, but more than two months after provisional elections, things have gone from photo-op to fiasco. The New York Times reports on the “threats, intrigue, back-room deal-making, protests, political paralysis and, increasingly, popular discontent” that have come to characterize the Iraqi political process.
If this is a preview of the national contest next winter, President Obama’s troop withdrawal plan could implode.
New York Times:
Two and a half months after the elections, the 14 provinces that voted have only now begun forming provincial councils, the equivalent of state legislatures in the United States. Five provinces, including Babil, Najaf and Basra, still have no functioning governments, despite a deadline that passed last week, as party leaders squabble over the selection of governors, council chairmen and their deputies.
Elections that were supposed to strengthen Iraq’s democracy, unite its ethnic and sectarian factions and begin to improve sorely needed basic services — water, electricity, roads — have instead exposed the fault lines that still threaten the country’s stability.