Friday, May 25, 2018

So We Just Keep Going Until We Lose?

We need to defend rule of law in Iraq. And we aren't despite the recent Iraqi election. This failure to defend rule of law while pretending formal voting is the same thing will lead to disaster

I don't like Moqtada al-Sadr who has American and Iraqi blood on his hands when he worked for the Iranians. But his faction won the recent Iraqi election (with 17% of the vote). My concern is that rule of law must be maintained and future free elections to redress this error must be held as scheduled. That's what a democracy does.

Was the recent election riddled by fraud?

The Independent High Election Commission, a body that long ago lost its independence and is now staffed by apparatchiks from the major parties, contracted with a mysterious and little-known Korean company to provide ballot boxes that scan votes and uplink them to a central database upon the closure of polls. That Korean company had little track record, has little behind it but a webpage, and the single international election Iraqis say it previously managed in Kyrgyzstan ended in disaster.

Fixing that issue is far more important than the issue of Sadr's influence (and he says he opposes Iran now, but is that true? And does it matter if true given his past crimes of leading three insurrections against the Iraqi government from 2004 to 2008?) in the Iraqi government.

I was happy to see Iraqis continuing to vote. But America should absolutely not overlook the possibility of fraud for "stability" in Iraq. Failing to settle the question of fraud just guarantees that one day Iraqis will use bullets rather than ballots to settle political disputes.

To prevent that, America should strongly support this initiative:

Iraq's prime minister has ordered the creation of a high-powered commission to look into alleged irregularities in the parliamentary elections held May 12.

And worse, if this fails to validate a clean election or identify the irregularities, the minority Sunni Arabs will be prone to supporting jihadis--again--if they believe the majority will rig the elections. Minorities only have rule of law--or guns--to protect themselves.

For God's sake, let's make sure the primary weapon is rule of law! Or are we that eager to wage Iraq War 3.0 in a few years time?