Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 22, 2006
WAR: Another Domino: Democracy in Kuwait & UAE

Yet more good news in the march of self-government across the Arab and Muslim worlds, an unthinkable development as recently as 2002, as the scope of democracy expands in Kuwait and will follow in the UAE:

Next week, Kuwaitis will go to the polls to elect a new National Assembly which will, in turn, approve a new prime minister and cabinet. The Kuwaitis will be making history for a number of reasons. This is the first election in which women are allowed to vote, which means the size of the electorate has more than doubled. More importantly, and much to the chagrin of Islamists who insist that women are unfit to play any role in politics, a number of women are standing, often on a platform of radial social and economic reform. With a native population of one million, Kuwait is one of the smallest states that form the Arab League. Nevertheless, its general election is important for the impact it is certain to have on broader Arab politics. One reason is that the exercise will help consolidate the idea of holding elections as a means of securing access to power, something new and still fragile in most Arab states. Days before the Kuwaitis were due to go to the polls, the United Arab Emirates announced that it, too, would opt for a parliamentary system based on elections. This means all but five of the Arab states are now committed to holding reasonably clean elections at the municipal and/or national level. SOME OF this new interest in holding elections is due to the impact of Iraq on the broader Arab imagination. Many within the Arab ruling elites saw, with a mixture of admiration and terror, how Saddam Hussein's regime, regarded as the strongest of the Arab despotic structures in recent memory, collapsed within three weeks. The message was clear: An Arab regime without some mandate from the people is never more than a house of cards. Next, the Arab masses began to see millions of Iraqis queuing to cast their ballots in several municipal elections, a referendum, and two general elections, all in a couple of years.

Via Taranto. Read the whole thing. And ask yourself, once again, how anyone can say that the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan are for nothing.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:49 PM | War 2006 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

I wonder how long Bush will have to be out of office before he gets credit for any of this from the Blame Bush First crowd?

Probably at least the five years or so after Reagan left office before the Dems began to grudgingly admit he just might've had something to do with the fall of Communism.

Posted by: John Salmon at June 22, 2006 8:00 PM

Ronald Reagan (who I have written of well on this blog) did not cause the fall of Communism, so cut that out. He did hammer in the last nails in the coffin; he sped up the inevitable. But Harry Truman and, even more, George F. Kennan, had a lot to do with it. As did John Kennedy, and every other president not named Carter.

And George W. Bush probably has less to do with the spread of elections than George H.W. Bush. Also, don't confuse elections with democracy, at least my definition of it (I know, who asked me.) But I find it far more important that the rule of law holds than an election. Once a legitamate rule of law is established, and the current rulers find they can actually step down, the rest follows. The George W. who had a lot to teach us about this was born in the 18th century. A great man who simply becomes greater with the ages.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at June 22, 2006 8:21 PM

First I didn't say Reagan was solely responsible for the fall of Communism. But no one else on the American political scene can begin to share his glory.

When you say "he sped up the inevitable"- that may appear to be true today, but when Reagan took office, the Democrats had essentially abandoned the containment policy advocated by their forbears, such as Kennedy and Truman. But as we all know, RR strove to do more than contain Communism, he sought to defeat it. In this, he was successful. With Scoop Jackson dead, the Dems had gone AWOL on serious foreign policy, and contibuted little to Reagan's achievements. The Dems were too bust trying to rein in the CIA and applaud themselves for handing SE Asia over to the Communists to help the cause.

Posted by: John Salmon at June 23, 2006 3:06 AM

should be "too busy", or "too busted" either's fine...

Posted by: John Salmon at June 23, 2006 3:08 AM

people who minimize Ronnie's contribution to ending the Cold War (he only drove the last nail into the coffin) forget that elite public opinion in 1980 was ready to throw away the hammer

Posted by: Ironman at June 23, 2006 8:10 AM

Surely the feminists are overjoyed at this development, no doubt we'll be hearing much about it from the MSM. . .right?

Posted by: John at June 23, 2006 2:18 PM
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