Friday, September 02, 2005

Reasons To Hope In Iraq

I imagine most potential readers of this are riveted by the events in New Orleans and the gulf coast; I know I have been recently. But the combination of the horrible events that are unfolding before the eyes of the world and the shrill commentary of number of people who seem more fixated on blaming people for the disaster than reporting the news has driven me to look for more positive news elsewhere.

Surprisingly I found it in Iraq. Mark Steyn has an interesting editorial column titled, 'Why I remain an optimist," that is a must read. He comments on an excerpt from the proposed Iraqi constitution:
‘Iraq is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-sect country. It is part of the Islamic world and its Arab people are part of the Arab nation.’

That first sentence alone is a remarkable declaration for this part of the world and, if the second partly qualifies it, well, hold your horses before screaming Iranian-style theocracy. It was never likely, in Iraq as in Afghanistan, that an overwhelmingly Muslim country would not give formal recognition to that reality in its constitution, but what’s important here is what’s not said. Iraq ‘is part of the Islamic world’, but it’s not an ‘Islamic republic’, as Iran is. ‘Its Arab people are part of the Arab nation’, but Iraq itself is not: it’s not the ‘Arab Republic of Iraq’, as it is the ‘Arab Republic of Egypt’ and the ‘Syrian Arab Republic’.

No one can predict with accuracy the outcome of the Iraqi constitutional vote on October 15. But I find Steyn's analysis fascinating.

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