martes, diciembre 21, 2004

ESPECIALMENTE DEDICADO a aquellos agoreros e impermeables que han visto cómo sus apocalípticas predicciones han ido fallando una tras otra y aun así no se arredran; este repaso de Amir Taheri a los diferentes grupos y partidos que se están presentando a las elecciones en Iraq. Nada que ver con ese inicio de guerra civil que muchos anuncian:
Some pretend to be alarmed by the "excessive language" used by rival Iraqi politicians in campaign speeches. For example, Hazem Shaalan, Iraq's flamboyant defense minister, has attacked Hussein Shahrestani, the leader of one of the Shiite lists of candidates, as "the man from Tehran." Shahrestani's aides have retaliated by branding Shaalan "the American minister."

By most campaign standards, this is a rather mild polemical exchange. The American papers that pretend to be shocked by Iraqi verbal duels must have forgotten the recent U.S. campaign, which saw President Bush branded as "the Arabian candidate" and Sen. John Kerry portrayed as a coward masquerading as a hero.

What is happening in Iraq is what happens in every democracy: Political rivals attack each other verbally — but, in contrast to most other Arab states, do not imprison or murder their opponents.

Other doomsters predict a straight win for the Shiites and see such an outcome as a disaster for Iraq and for U.S. policy. But why should anyone be scared of Shiites wining a majority of the seats? After all, they make up 60 percent of the population — yet they do not constitute a monolithic bloc.