Monday, December 26, 2005

Waiting for the final results

Things are running very fast in Iraq and everyday brings more and more surprises. Let me talk first about the elections results. Well, what we were afraid of came true and the Iraqi people elected their representatives on "sectarian bases" and in my opinion this is the biggest problem so far. Our people still don't believe in the democracy to protect them and they find it a good way to show their affiliation only.

Most of the political bodies rejected the results and accused the "United Iraqi Alliance" of forgery, in fact the results were not logical enough, but in all cases even if we suppose that all the claims are true the results wont change that much and still the two major winning slates will be the same as now the (555) for the Shia and the (618) for the Sunni. The problem is not with forgery but with the winning slates themselves since they are both sectarian and the only "secular and liberal" slate (731) didn’t get enough votes.

The Iraqi equation turned to be so hard and if I want to make an assessment for why we got such results I would say that the security situation in Iraq in general is the main reason behind it, the attacks made by Zarqawi and his supporters on the Shia and since Zarqawi claim he is Sunni and his supporters are in Sunni areas of Iraq led the Shia not to trust the "others" and they voted to the slate (555) they though it would protect them. On the other hand the Sunni didn’t believe that they are a minority and couldn’t accept the idea of the Shia taking over things in Iraq so they gathered to vote for (618) to show there strength. What's left were the seculars and the liberals who have voted for (731) but they didn’t gain enough votes to be able to form the government and it seems after the dark decades of Saddam's regime there are not enough seculars and liberals in Iraq!
It will take time and efforts to make the Iraqis trust each other again and to start thinking out of the sect they belong to and this only can be achieved with a better security to help the ordinary people to start thinking of tomorrow and when they start to think of a better future the results of the votes will change.

Allawi (731) and the Accordance Front (618) announced that they won't accept to form the General Assembly if things remain the same and the UIA (555) announced that they will defend every seat they won. It seems that the coming days will be really tough for Iraq.
I don’t have a clue about the coming government but even the best scenario doesn't seem to be that good. The Sistani called for a "National Unity" government to calm things down, but even if it happened it would mostly be from the "religious" slates (555) and (618). Four years under this kind of government would be more than enough to destroy the liberalism and secularism in Iraq.

After the liberation we though that we will stop "fighting" for our rights and we will start to participate in building democracy in Iraq but it seems that another four years of "fierce war" is coming and this time its just to stay who we are and not to melt in the "Sunni-Shia" environment
I think we need a second miracle now, the Americans granted us the first one and broke our chains to set us free, now we need the second miracle not to put them back.

15 Comments:

At 2:29 AM, Anonymous The Beagle said...

Sooni:

You have found Freedom.

In many ways it is more difficult than tyranny.

You will learn to use it in time.

 
At 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we need a second miracle now, the Americans granted us the first one and broke our chains to set us free, now we need the second miracle not to put them back.

Wrong, the Americans destroyed your country and made your country more dangerous.

 
At 8:39 PM, Anonymous David H. said...

Wrong, the Americans destroyed your country and made your country more dangerous.

"Live Free or Die" is the motto of the state of New Hampshire. Originally voiced by General John Stark, the state's most distinguished hero of the Revolutionary War, it symbolizes for many Americans the fundamental belief on which this nation was founded. Our fore fathers could have remained oppressed under a tyrant king but chose to live free or die.

I don't believe that having won their freedom that the Iraqi people will give it up easily.

 
At 4:36 AM, Anonymous Janie said...

Well said David H. Are we forgetting the sacrifices of soldiers killed that paid the high price by standing for what they believe "FREEDOM"

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Sooni,

In my analysis of the December 15th Iraqi elections, I calculated that Party List 555, the Shia list, will get 131 of the 275 seats.

That's 7 seats short of a majority. My analysis was based on the election returns from the provinces and I used the methodolgy mentioned at the IECI website (with the assistance of a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet).

That said, I think what liberal/secular Iraqis is to vigorously exercise their freedom of speech. They shouldn't, in my opinion, say that the election results were fraudulent without evidence and perspective (which you have provided my saying that reversing the fraud would not materially alter the results). But continue to advocate for the policies that you believe should be the law in Iraq.

If the next government doesn't destroy the freedom of the Iraqi press and holds another election four years from now, democracy in Iraq will not have been defeated.

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Sooni,

You may find out something about politicians in the future. Some have a tendancy NOT to do exactly what they say they will do. In other words, the platform they ran on in the election may not ultimately be what they do. Sometimes circumstances dictate a more flexible position.

Don't give up hope, yet.

 
At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Bob said...

Yes, I can see you have reason for concern, but have faith. Even America faced similar divisions (between slave states and free states) which led to a great war -- the most deadly war in U.S. history -- but the Republic survived. The road to self-government can be rough, but America is proof that democracy works.

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger wade said...

Please continue to write us about the events in Iraq, Suni. You have a gift for writing in a very readable and understandable way.
While the desire for a liberal/secular government in Iraq is understandable I believe that the fact that most Iraquis are very religious makes this outcome unlikely, at least at the present time.
The hope for Iraq seems to be that men and women of all faiths in Iraq can come together and denounce and take action against the violent acts of a few fanatics and join together in governing a stable and secure Iraq. Many American muslims have done just that by denouncing terrorism as evil and unacceptable.
May the God of Abraham bless you, your family and all the long suffering people of Iraq with much deserved peace and prosperity. Wade in Houston

 
At 1:15 AM, Blogger CMAR II said...

I just got around to reading this, Sooni. I guess I came to the same conclusion you did that 555 has the insurgents to thank for their success. But I framed the conclusion a little differently (scroll down to the end).

 
At 4:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sooni,

Your expression of unhappiness about the probable results of the election reminds me of Ali's comments, on another Iraqi blog, afreeiraqi.blogspot.com, on the same subject.

In the US, the political behavior is sometimes of a rather sectarian and tribal character, too, particularly when everyone feels nervous, like we do at the present time, perhaps because of the stress of war. I think both the sectarian-and-tribal spirit and the liberal-and-secular spirit will continue to exist, and be both important in the life of Iraq. When everybody feels nervous, I expect that the first one will tend to prevail, and when everyone can feel more relaxed and more secure, I think it will be the other tendency that dominates.

Fundamentally, I believe that people of different cultures are both different and similar, but in the end the similarities are more important, more interesting, and more productive than the differences, so people can work together on shared goals and aspirations in the long run.

I hope the difficulties and the dangers of the present situation do not lead you to lose hope. All cultures have a good reserve of optimism in them. This is why they take such good care of their children, and this is something which the people of Iraq do very well.

God bless you! Dom.

 
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At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sooni, its been a month since your last post. are you OK??

 
At 6:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone heard anything from sooni?

 
At 4:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think given the circumstances that it is quite legitimate te be worried by now about this young man :(

Maybe another Iraqi-blogger knows something?

 
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