Tuesday, August 21, 2007

...Because Maliki Is Wack...in Iraq

The Boston Globe today has an interesting piece about the political situation in Iraq. The article alludes to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's inability to sustain the unity of his coalition government, and how administration officials are conducting back-door meetings to shore up support for the former Shi'ite expatriate. The coalition government has been severely weakened by the resignation of several Sunni cabinet members and has only one Sunni remaining.

Despite the gradual disintegration of the government, U.S. officials continue to keep the prime minister in power and fighting back calls for his resignation. Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, returned from Iraq noting improved security, but chastising the al-Maliki government as incompetent, and being unable "to make the compromises so essential to ending the violence." With the violence in Iraq so blatantly tribal, it's going to take a strong-willed, center-minded diplomat to try and abate the carnage at least to Mogadishu levels.

Now I have been calling for the U.S. to leave Iraq on it's own terms, and at least leave behind a country that is adverse to the sustainability of Jihadist terror networks. Yet, democracy is not without its struggles, and we are at a critical point when America must be seen standing up for Iraqi democracy and not for any particular Iraqi regime. It would be one stormy short-term, but the U.S. should allow the Iraqi Parliament to have a no-confidence vote for al-Maliki. A no-confidence vote can be seen quite frequently throughout the world, from Western democracies to Israel, and they always shore up public support that the government is serious about moving forward with policies that work. These votes always have detrimental consequences, especially in young democracies like Iraq, but what is to come out of it is even greater. Either the parliament votes to sustain the al-Maliki government, at which point he retains his domestic legitimacy (and thus, internationally as well), or he's voted out and Iraq gets a new Prime Minister and a fresh start. It will probably be more like a bloody start, but democracy would have been exorcised.

Furthermore, a no-confidence vote gives breathing room to the directors of the surge, who will be reporting to Congress next month on the progress of the strategy. Couple that with the reduced violence throughout Iraq as a whole and the administration's hype-up regarding Anbar province, and you have a new political landscape that brings the country closer to a democracy where it's okay to lose an election.

Several folks would rather see America pull out of Iraq, and hope to God something works out well. I hope to God democracy works and functions in Iraq, while America stays committed to cleaning the mess we started there.

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