Iraq the Model begins with a joyous “The People have won” and continues in celebration. In the midst is an anecdote that shows the value of disinterestedness – a portent of what’s to come (and must come in a democracry):
The first thing we saw this morning on our way to the voting center was a convoy of the Iraqi army vehicles patrolling the street, the soldiers were cheering the people marching towards their voting centers then one of the soldiers chanted “vote for Allawi” less than a hundred meters, the convoy stopped and the captain in charge yelled at the soldier who did that and said:
“You’re a member of the military institution and you have absolutely no right to support any political entity or interfere with the people’s choice. This is Iraq’s army, not Allawi’s”.
This was a good sign indeed and the young officer’s statement was met by applause from the people on the street.
We don’t always remember how in modern times, the importance of the wall between the military and the political is as important in many countries as the wall between church and state. The Iraqis have learned – what they don’t want has taught them what they do.