Sunday, December 11, 2005
Yup. That Bush, always starting wars - and this time he's heading to outer space! This information emerged, of course, from an interview with a senile Canadian. Why the musings of senile Canadians are considered newsworthy I cannot imagine. There are plenty of Canadians who are not senile.
Howard of Oraculations emerges from his dedicated blogging on women with appallingly large boobs (it gives me a backache to see those pictures) to point out that Soldiers Angels has posted a number of ways in which your donation of even $5 will brighten a soldier's Christmas. Another great site is America Supports You. He's also got a good link to a site listing Iraqi construction projects: Truth on Iraq. Also, Howard is coming around to believing that the Iraqis are going to establish a functioning representative democracy:
I have never felt that this would be possible, but reading the blogs from Iraq I am getting the sense that not only is it possible, but probable.The view of the world from the citizens' eyes is always quite different than the world as seen through the eyes of the US press. My view is that you can bet that people given a choice will pick national independence and a representative government over bombing mosques and bus riders. Then that majority will deal with that minority.
The Shiite/Sunni divide in Iraq has been overbilled in our press, and the Iraqi citizen has been ruthlessly and continuous misrepresented as ignorant, backwards, uneducated and fanatical. The soldiers who have been over there don't have that impression of the broad mass of Iraqis. The only reason the American people do is because of what is being written about them by the "progressives" in the American and European press. The best indication of progress in Iraq is that the candidates are listing their names, whereas before many did not because of security concerns. Read Iraq The Model and State Of Flux for starters. And don't miss Minh-Duc's recent post about the Iraqi economy:
One item that Western media often neglect to mention about Iraq is the state of the economy – or how well the economy is doing. According to Wikipedia, the growth rate (real rate, not nominal) for Iraq in 2004 is 52.3 percent. And the prediction is that the economy will continue to grow. The forecast according to the Economist will be 26 percent for the year 2005-2006.Minh-Duc's State Of Flux blog is superb - he's a truly independent voice. The type of people who are capable of starting up businesses like this are more than capable of handling a representative government. The correlation between economic freedom and political freedom is very strong.
And no one (whether the Bush administration or the current Iraqi government) should takes credit for the economic growth. The credit belongs to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Iraqi people. There are several thousands new businesses are being registered every year (there are thousands more businesses that ignore the registration rule). It is the new enterprising spirit that allows a 52.3 percent growth in the worsening security environment (2004 is the most violence year since the fall of Baghdad).
In a move that would have been inconceivable only months earlier, Saddam Hussein loyalists are urging Sunnis to vote in Thursday's poll and warning al-Qaida fighters not to launch attacks.Catch that? Allawi is campaigning on a joint Sunni/Shia platform aimed at uniting the country. Various factions and interests in Iraq are in no way divided into hermetically sealed camps. This is why I think the progressives are getting desperate. The Iraqi people want us out and peace and prosperity in Iraq. The American people want us out and peace and prosperity in Iraq. I'd call that a winning recipe and a union of interests. It can and will be done.
As political and security tensions rise before the parliamentary elections, fighters in the Western al-Anbar province say they are even prepared to protect voting stations from those loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.
Most election posters back two Sunni politicians, Saleh Mutlak and Adnan al-Dulaimi. Iyad Allawi, a secular Shia and former prime minister who ordered a US-led offensive that devastated Falluja last year, has some appeal, fighters said.
The friggin EU is too wimpy to send election monitors. Cowards. But never mind, the Iraqis have developed a plan to send volunteers from one district to another to ensure that monitoring is independent.