Monday, December 20, 2004

Iraq: The Silent Majority

The newest member of the international democratic leaders club, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, recently had some words of encouragement and advice for the Iraqi people on their hard road to a better future: "They must go to polls. They must take this opportunity, elect their people to parliament, and have a government of their own, and have peace. . . . The major lesson in Afghanistan was that the Afghan people wanted change, from the tyranny of terrorism. The Iraqi people also will gain nothing if they allow these people to come from outside and destroy their lives."

We will know soon enough to what extent the Iraqis as a whole have listened to this advice, but as of six weeks before the vote, the indications are that the "silent majority" is keen for the election to mark a clean break from the past and a beginning of a new Iraq. It's not just in the political sphere that Iraqis, with the assistance of coalition forces, governments and organizations, are trying to make progress. In the economy, reconstruction, infrastructure, health and education, cultural life, and security, work continues every day, often under dangerous and difficult circumstances and just as often considered not newsworthy enough to compete with the insurgency and the growing pains of a country just starting to lift itself up after three decades under the boot of a bloodthirsty megalomaniac.

So Arthur Chrenkoff begins his latest biweekly roundup of the underreported progress in reconstructing Iraq. This installment contains a wealth of information on preparations for the Iraqi elections, as well as news on the economic, social, education, and security fronts. Please give it a read:

The Silent Majority (also available via Chrenkoff)


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