Reason for optimism for democracy in Iraq

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2003

The skepticism is based on well-founded concerns: Iraq has a history of totalitarian rule and conflict among different ethnic and religious groups. ...

Yet, there's reason for optimism. A lively political dialogue has developed in Iraq, fostered by the emergence of periodicals, pamphlets and newspapers. Iraqi citizens again are taking control of municipal services. And, a Governing Council has just been established to help shape Iraq's destiny, including the drafting of a constitution. ...

The United States and British militaries did a masterful job driving Hussein from power. Unfortunately, the initial postwar administration led by Jay Garner, a retired lieutenant general, did not act with the same decisiveness or professionalism.

Under (L. Paul) Bremer, who took over in early May, things seem to be changing. The United States and its allies have an enormous nation-building job ahead of them, but at least now there are a few signs that success may be possible.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale

July 15

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