Sunday, December 12, 2004

Iraq, Ballots and Pistachios

Thomas Friedman of the NYTimes opines on why more European and Arab countries aren't offering to send troops to help secure the upcoming Iraqi election. He knows a lot about the Middle East and is always worth a read.
If only we could call the Iraqi election, "A Seminar on the European Defense Initiative: Why NATO Is passé and E.D.I. Is the Future"; then we could get thousands of Europeans to take part. If only we could call the Iraqi elections, "A Seminar on George Bush and Genghis Khan: Why Bush Is Worse"; then the Arab League would send so many people, we'd be turning them away. We'd be talking pay-per-view on Al Jazeera.

So let the record show that when Iraq finally decided to hold a free and fair election, all the bad guys decided to come and "vote" and all the good guys sat on the fence, dangling their legs, eating pistachios.

I think the Europeans want to see what happens with these elections before committing themselves and the Arab leaders don't want to see the beginning of the end of hundreds of years of oppressive regimes. Both should take their eyes off their shoes and look up. They might see some interesting graffiti on the wall.

Unless they are secretly hoping Iraq (and thus the U.S.) fails so they can be smug and smile and say, "I told you so" to the Great George W. Satan.

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