Profs to the President

Tony Paradiso Before I proceed to rip various government officials, let me give credit where credit is due. The elections in Iraq went off about as well as could be expected. True, an estimated 44 people lost their lives. But sadly, in such an environment a loss of life was inevitable. It could have been much worse.

Both the Shiites in the south and Kurds in the north came out in numbers that are unheard of in existing democracies. And although only a small percentage of Sunnis voted, those that did demonstrated an incredible level of courage. To a person they risked their lives to cast their ballot.

Who wasn’t touched by the images of Iraqis proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers? The sheer joy was evident on their faces. Hell, even I felt emotion. I didn’t know what it was at the time but a friend later explained it to me.

Contrast that with some Americans who wouldn’t risk getting wet in the rain to exercise the right to vote.

Now the real challenge begins: forming a viable government. So far, all involved are saying the right things. The Shiites are talking about being inclusive of the Sunnis and the Kurds are willing to accept some oversight by a central governing body. Both are essential to achieve a lasting peace.

Though I remain skeptical of a positive outcome, the potential to fulfill the president’s vision has never been higher. As much as he deserves blame for bungling the post-war strategy, he deserves credit for successfully getting through the initial election process.

OK, enough of nice.

The stories covered in the newsletter are based on articles published from various sources. I conduct no investigative work. Rather, I simply comment on the information researched from these sources. The source for each story is referenced in the story’s title. The following is the key: NYT is The New York Times, WSJ is The Wall Street Journal, BG is The Boston Globe, BW is BusinessWeek, and WP is the Washington Post. Others sources are referenced by name.

Category: Journalists
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