Friday, February 04, 2005

A beef with Juan Cole.

A response to my "Iraq's elections" post makes a lousy argument and links to an article I find confusing. Its points seem to be:
  1. Juan Cole contradicts himself when discussing the elections in Iraq.
  2. This idea that the Bush administration supported and Sistani shot down was actually not Bremer's idea, as Cole says.
  3. Going with Sistani's suggestion was a bad thing, contrary to what Cole says.
Whether going Sistani's route was a bad thing or not, Bush is now talking about how great it is that Iraq had elections which he did not originally support. Regardless of whose idea it was to appoint a government rather than elect one, the Bush administration supported it. Whether to attribute that idea to Bremer or someone else seems to be an irrelevant detail.

As to the contradiction, Cole practically points it out himself. His point seems to be that while it really is of huge significance (I agree), it's also not nearly the model we'd hope it would be. This is like having Droopy Dog catch Jeffrey Dahmer. It's a triumph, yet embarrassing.

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