The greatest weapon in the sophist’s arsenal is the strawman argument, and they are out in force today.
Americans, for our part, will spend the morning watching CNN say the same thing a thousand ways. We’ll exult in the mystical power of voting, but next week, it’ll be back to the news ticker’s impersonal body counts. So elections? Count me in, I think they’re great. But with the rebellious, terrified minority that’s driving the insurgency boycotting the polls, let’s not pretend that the Ballot Fairy will sprinkle constitution dust on this razed country and out of the ashes will emerge a stable, pluralistic democracy. Iraq’s task is monumental, and its solutions anything but telegenic.
No one is pretending this is anything but what it was- the first election the Iraqi’s have had in 50 years, and a step in the right direction. Obviously Iraqi’s are thrilled; most normal Americans are as well. Only the professionally dour would and could feel otherwise. No one thinks the future is all of a sudden going to be easy- quite the opposite.
Iraq now faces many key issues that could tear the country apart, from the issues of Kirkuk and Mosul to that of religious law. James Zogby on Wolf Blitzer wisely warned the US public against another “Mission Accomplished” moment. Things may gradually get better, but this flawed “election” isn’t a Mardi Gras for Americans and they’ll regret it if that is the way they treat it.
Groan. And now for the obligatory Oliver silliness:
Pardon me if I’ve had enough of these Iraqi “turning points”. I work in Washington, D.C. so I can’t just pretend and make the terrorists go away like the other sheep.
Oliver has worked in DC for a year now. Beware the jaded insider.