I told you so, back in April 2003. (The link goes to an old Insight On the News symposium featuring Abdulwahab Alkebsi and me. The topic was “Does President Bush have a realistic plan for bringing democracy to the Middle East?” I wrote the section entitled “NO: Insisting that the nations of the Middle East choose between Western-style democracy or the terror state will do more harm than good,” which begins midway down on the linked page.)
Neither Alkebsi nor any of the multitudes who agreed with him are paying any price for their erroneous prognostications.
“Sunni candidates ban threatens Iraq election,” by Martin Chulov in the Guardian, January 15:
Leading Sunni politicians tonight warned that Iraq was sliding towards a “dark unknown” in the wake of a decision to ban more than 400 Sunni candidates from contesting the upcoming general election. The move is increasingly being seen as a test of the poll’s legitimacy and a direct threat to the Shia-led government’s attempts at reconciling the country’s warring militant and political factions.
On Thursday the country’s independent electoral commission banned about 500 candidates from running in the 7 March poll. But more than 80% were today revealed to be Sunni nominees who had been courted to take part in a bid to prevent a re-run of the 2005 election, which saw a Sunni boycott and a subsequent slide towards sectarian war.
The ban comes almost seven years after the US introduced “de-Ba’athification”, and has been portrayed by some as a fresh push to rid Iraq of any remaining Saddam Hussein loyalists. Among those banned are prominent figures including the defence minister, Abdul-Kader Jassem al-Obeidi, and Saleh al-Mutlak, who is the head of the National Dialogue Front.
“Reconciliation has always been a farce,” said Mutlak, who is appealing against the decision. “This government cannot be nationalists. They are made up of members who have been brought up to be sectarian from childhood.”…