Meanwhile, in Dhi Qar

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Seventeen towns in the Iraqi province of Dhi Qar ? the province in which Nassiriya is located ? have recently held local elections. According to Britain's Guardian, the results have been "surprising." "[I]n almost every case," wrote Jonathan Steele on Monday, "secular independents and representatives of non-religious parties did better than the Islamists."

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  1. Friend of Uday: We now have gender equality in Iraq.

    Uday: Har har! Let’s hit the clubs. Me horny.

  2. Although it obviously couldn’t be more pertinent, this thread will likely get less attention than the next installment of Clarke vs Condi.

    I suppose it is my turn to pull a “Jean Bart” and remind folks that I suggested going ahead with elections with the ration cards (as Sistani was maintaining). Meantime the Iraqis figured out a way to get around the “male-sufferage” problem.

  3. Interesting, the assumption that Joe would be incapable of admitting something that works against his perceived cause. . . .I was just reading “The Nation,” a very left-wing site, and they have an article mentioning that this is the tenth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, and shame on Bill Clinton for ignoring it.

    So the left-wingers are capable of admitting when their guys do wrong. When was the last time you heard a right-wing source admit to wrongdoing from their designated heroes? No, they’re too busy accusing left-wingers of being the blackest damned kettles they ever did see.

  4. No triple post today, Jen?

  5. The Nation was never particularly fond of Bill Clinton, but I appreciate the sentiment, Jennifer.

  6. Joe-
    The fact that they dislike Clinton only furthers my argument. What influential right-wing media sources disliked Reagan, for example? I have more faith in a political philosophy whose members have different opinions about personalities than a political philosophy that apparently requires lockstep conformity to a series of personality cults. It’s one thing to say that God can do no wrong–it’s another thing to say it about Georgie Bush.

  7. So the left-wingers are capable of admitting when their guys do wrong.

    Since when is Bill Clinton one of The Nation’s “guys”? He’s far to the right of “The Nation” and its readership. They attacked many of his policies during his presidency.

    When was the last time you heard a right-wing source admit to wrongdoing from their designated heroes?

    Right-wingers have savaged John McCain for his support of campaign finance “reform”. McCain is at least as legitimate a “right-wing hero” as Bill Clinton is a hero of “The Nation”‘s readership.

    Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, all “heroes of the right”, have been savaged by other members of the right for their egregiously stupid comments on race, religion, and the war on terrorism.

    Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter, right-wingers watched or read by millions, get bashed by other right-wingers regularly.

    Etc, etc.

    But I sense a “no true Scotsman” argument in the making… anyone whose “wrongdoing” is admitted too will be defined as “not a right-wing hero”, or else the person admitting it will be “not really right-wing”. 🙂

  8. I’m feelin’ the power!

  9. Dan-
    Perhaps you’re right. I should have actually limited my question to the right-wingers I see posting on these threads. I don’t know who “anti-joe” is, since he’s anonymous, but I’d be willing to bet he’s one of those who refuses to admit that anything could be going wrong with Iraq or that anything could be bad about our current administration. . .et cetera, et cetera.

    I was and am opposed to the Iraq war but I do think this vote was the first potential piece of good news we’ve seen in a long while. Whether or not it matters in the long run remains to be seen.

  10. The fact that they dislike Clinton only furthers my argument

    Actually it completely demolishes your “argument”, which was that left-wingers are willing to criticize their heroes and right-wingers aren’t. You cited a single example of left-wingers criticizing someone they never liked — oops. 🙂

    What influential right-wing media sources disliked Reagan, for example?

    There were no influential right-wing media sources between 1980 and 1988. Limbaugh “came to power” during the first Bush’s term, and Fox News arrived on the scene during Clinton’s term.

    But it is certainly the case that mainstream right-wingers spend minimal time bashing Reagan, just as mainstream left-wingers spend minimal time bashing Roosevelt. Both men are people who pretty much “got it right”, ideologically, from the point of view of their respective political groups.

  11. I dunno,

    by the standards most Americans use, this entire forum would be pretty right-wing…but I would guess those who even partially admire the president comprise no more than 30% of the posters, tops.

    There are loads of blogs were anyone who merely wishes to emote “oh, what a gall-burned SHAME!” with other chi-chi drama-queens, can do so to their heart’s content.

    For a brief time I blogged at a conservative site, and found the absence of controversy unstimulating. Smug self-congratulation doesn’t look good on ANYBODY.

  12. I agree, Andrew. And, apparently, so does anti-joe, who seems to get his batteries charged by being made to look like an ass.

  13. Since Joe won’t bite, I will! 🙂 Partly, anyway…

    This is good new to be sure. But Iraq’s not a democracy till elected officials have real power and their election (and power) is accepted rather than fought.

    Hopefully that day is around the corner, we’ll see.

  14. 1) Didn’t (and won’t) vote for Bush
    2) Can’t stand Kerry
    3) Reason subscriber for 20 years
    4) Not all is bad in Iraq, or good
    5) Lot a libertarian, an objectivist
    6) Note to Bush: lose the religion
    7) Note to Jen: relax

    Regards,

  15. Perhaps you’re right. I should have actually limited my question to the right-wingers I see posting on these threads. I don’t know who “anti-joe” is

    So what’s your basis for assuming he’s right-wing? Joe’s responses are almost entirely predictable; a person doesn’t have to be a member of the political right to notice this. If I vote for Bush, it will only be because I support the war and Bush’s opponents don’t. If a candidate came along who was serious about the war but NOT also culturally-conservative spendthrift, I’d vote for him in a second. And so long as I’m living in fantasyland, I’d also like a date with Angelina Jolie.

    I’d be willing to bet he’s one of those who refuses to admit that anything could be going wrong with Iraq or that anything could be bad about our current administration

    Could you name some of the names of regular H&R posters who “refuse to admit that anything could be going wrong with Iraq or that anything could be bad about our current administration”, please?

  16. Yes, look how well he was able to predict my response to this story.

  17. To get back on topic – Hitchens, Kannan Makiya and like-minded folks have always argued that secular candidates stood a chance of winning if elections were held because Iraq did have a sizeable secular intelligentia & an educated population, religious rabble-rousers notwithstanding. Why would such people ever want to be in the position of having the unwashed al-sadr, AKA “respected cleric”, in charge ?

  18. SM, actually, these results are even more positive than that. For Baghdadis (?) to opt for secularists is not surprising. But this story is about small towns in the Shia south!

  19. RE: The right not complaining about its own – Back when George Bush I was in office, he was ripped to shreds by the right over his tax hike and other policies. National Review took big chunks out of him. He lost the election in part because of widespread defections of conservatives to people like Buchanan and Perot.

    George Bush II gets attacked routinely by right-wing magazines. Recent examples include his immigration policy and steel tariffs.

    Ronald Reagan first reached national prominence by running as a challenger to Gerald Ford – which may have caused Jimmy Carter to win the election. Reagan had a ton of support from the right for his challenge.

    In fact, I find the right to be just as willing to criticise its own than is the left, if not more so. Remember, Ann Coulter got fired from the National Review for her stupid, “Invade them and convert them to Christianity” commentary. NR even published an explanation and an apology disassociating them from her comments.

    My guess, Jennifer, is that you’ve never read any of the “right wing sources” you claim march in lock-step. Am I correct?

  20. Growing…stronger…STRONGER…

  21. joe,

    You are right; i didn’t really make that connection until you highlighted it.

  22. This is loads of fun.
    Where else can someone pretend to be someone else and ruffle the feathers of a bunch of people he’s never met?
    (Here’s a secret: sometimes I post with one point of view under one name, and answer my post with an antithetical viewpoint under another name. I’ll bet others do this too.) The moral: don’t take it so damn seriously.

  23. Question : “Where else can someone pretend to be someone else and ruffle the feathers of a bunch of people he’s never met?”

    Answer : Practically anywhere on the internet.

  24. Jennifer,

    George Will called Reagan a “dupe” for negotiating with the Soviets.

  25. I await Joe’s complaint.

  26. “Some families are larger than others and they all get two votes.”

    Interesting. Sounds like old New England democracy, in which each householder got a vote, except in this case, husbands and wives are recognized as co-householders. Gender equality in one of the world’s most sexist cultures was perhaps the only decent thing to come out of Baathism.

  27. I await everybody else’s complaint about when Joe said “Gender equality in one of the world’s most sexist cultures was perhaps the only decent thing to come out of Baathism.”

  28. I take this as proof positive that secular democracy has no chance in Iraq and Americans are fools for even believing such a thing let alone trying.

    Oh, wait. What is that?

    Well, never mind.

  29. Figures the one time I get a huge response to my comments I’m away from home all evening. All right–point taken. But this just occurred to me–all of the examples were of either right-wingers criticizing their guys for not being right-wing enough, or left-wingers criticized for not being left-wing enough. Can anyone think of examples of either side criticizing their man for taking THEIR SIDE’S principles too far? Like for instance a right-winger who opposes the Iraq war or some such thing?

  30. Douglas:

    Ah, You can hear them, too! I knew I was not the Only one.

    Perhaps I place too much faith in the films, “Stripes”, “Fletch”, “Top Secret”, and “Der Schuh des Manitu”.

    Miao,
    KK

  31. Doug-
    Contrary to expectation, I do in fact read “National Review;” I’ve been a fan of Florence King since the 80s. Remember: the phrase “I just looked at the Nation website” is NOT synonymous with “The Nation is all I ever read and Hail to Thee, Al Franken.”

  32. roger, message understood, keep drilling for oil…

  33. You’ve never heard of Pat Buchanan or Joe Sobran, I guess.

    If you’d take a break from ‘The Nation’ once in a while and scan a few sites like the Weekly Standard, the American Spectator, or even, god forbid, The National Review, you’d find there’s plenty of disagreement in those quarters, though it tends to be arguments about how effective a given politician or policy is at achieving their desired goals. I suppose arguments among liberals tend to be less strategic or focused than that, but that’s just my vague impression. They seem to me to have a lot more trouble agreeing amongst themselves on common goals than do the conservatives.

    I think you can find inflexible thinking almost anywhere you’d choose to look. There are old lefties I’ve encountered who are about as flexible in their thinking as any stereotypical hard-shell fundamentalist.

  34. Instead of inflexibility, how about looking at specific types of left or right wings attacking their own sides: NY Times style attacking Clinton, National Review/Weekly Standard attacking Neocon politicians or figures, protectionistic/nationalistic periodicals criticising Pat Buchanan. (“Die Presse” being critical of the EU Hyperstate would happen when hell freezes over, for example)

    There are probably other, or better, examples, but this are the best I can come up with.

    Is National Review, for example, usually free-trade? If yes, how did it respond to the steel tarifs? Where is CATO inconsistent, by forgiving a politician his shortcomings, when the shortcomings conflict with CATO ideology?

    Would Al Frankin (spelling?) critisize Al Gore?

    One common complaint I remember reading about President Clinton and NAFTA was that, “it was a Republican Idea”. I read about Conservatives for NAFTA being for the tarifs. Because it is their fellow in charge. Conservatives forgive Haliburton and attack on Whitewater. Liberals do the opposite. (To hear Conservatives talk about “freedom and liberty” in the background of their social agenda and PATRIOT, however, does seem silly to my ears)

    Enjoy Your Good Friday,
    Karl Kraus

  35. Something occurred to me – the Baath Party has been banned.

    But a bunch of “secular independents” won office.

    Hmmmmm…….

  36. Karl, do you ever expect cats to bark?

  37. That was only after Reagan told him to cut out back seat limo riding with Nancy.

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