Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Encouraging Results in Iraq

Results are still being tallied in Iraq’s provincial election, but preliminary returns, as reported by Dubai’s Al-Sharqiyah television, sound on the whole like good news from the standpoint of the United States — and bad news from the standpoint of Iran.

The preliminary results — still subject to change, I should stress — indicate that the big winners are the State of the Law Coalition, led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and the Iraqi List, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Since Maliki took on Moqtada al Sadr’s thugs last spring, he has been seen as a tough-on-security centrist who is resistant to Iranian attempts to dominate his country. That has been Allawai’s reputation all along.

So it is significant that Maliki and Allawi appear to be running strong in Baghdad, Najaf, Basra, Babil and Diwaniyah provinces — i.e., in the Shiite heartland. Their gains are a blow to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, which has been one of the dominant forces, along with the Mahdists, in southern Iraq. Though ISCI has cooperated closely with American officials, it is also the major Iraqi party that is most closely identified with Iran.

Sadr, who at one time looked to be a kingmaker in Iraqi politics, appears increasingly marginalized. He is not even running a political slate in these elections, although his followers have endorsed some candidates. Those Sadr-backed candidates claim to be doing well in Maysan and Babil provinces, but those claims have not been confirmed so far.

Assuming that the preliminary results hold up, it will be another blow to Iran, which already suffered repudiation last year when the Iraqi parliament came to terms on an agreement to allow U.S. troops to remain in their country until at least the end of 2011.

The claims made by so many analysts not long ago that the U.S. war in Iraq was a huge win for Iran are not holding up. Likewise for the claims that an outside power could not possibly create a democracy in the Middle East. While Iraq’s democracy remains fragile and imperfect, it is nevertheless impressive to see its people not only casting votes but apparently selecting fairly centrist, secular candidates who are, by all indications, committed to an alliance with the U.S.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.