Iraqi election?Okay, anything I say here is opinion, speculation, feeling around in the dark, so please don't judge it as "scholarship"! An open question: What do you think about the Iraqi election? My main news source (National Public Radio, in the U.S) is reporting that it went better than expected, with large turnouts in the north and south (Kurds and Shia) and some voting in the Sunni middle despite threats and calls for a boycott. Last I heard about 44 were killed and others injured in attacks. NPR is a fairly liberal media source, though not as liberal as they used to be.
The Republicans are declaring victory all over the place, of course. Jimmy Carter (our last good president) was quoted in the last few days as saying something like, "I see no signs that the U.S. will let the Shia determine policies." (That's a close paraphrase; I believe he was talking about foreign and oil policy, but I was running out the door as I heard this so didn't get the whole story.) I have an email from a Ugandan friend that I haven't yet opened titled something like, "Iraqi Election: Biggest Farce of the Century". My bias: From the little I know of him, I really like as-Sistani, who has many of the hallmarks of a Sufi saint, if you read about his behavior and the way people react to and talk about him. Also, he stood up to both as-Sadr and the Americans. He supports the elections, so I think there might be something good in them in spite of various impure agendas and manipulative behaviors. Okay, over to you.