Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Stating the Obvious
Shiites Take Early Lead ...
Well, you don't say? One would expect that a group that comprises more than 60 percent of the population would take the lead in polling? Doesn't that fit right up there with having a headline that says "Whites Expected to Dominate Congress after Vote"?
But this is the problem--the reinforcement of the idea that in Iraq the only meaningful political identity is one's ethno-religious community. Even if, over time, party and ideological divisions rise to the fore, my guess is that in Iraq you will be a Shi'ite socialist, a Shi'ite free-marketer, etc.--that people will still be expected to vote for "one of their own."
"It looks like people preferred to vote for their ethnic or sectarian identity," Khalilzad told reporters. "But for Iraq to succeed, there has to be cross-sectarian and cross-ethnic cooperation. At this point, it seems sectarian, and ethnic identity has played a dominant role in the vote."