Reuel Marc Gerecht evaluates Iraq’s constitutional prospects in an August 8 WSJ op-ed:
The secularization of religious discussions in Iraq is already very far advanced–just compare the Iraqi clerical discussion of constitutional government at the time of Iran’s 1905-1911 Constitutional Revolution with the debate today and you will quickly see how successfully Western ideas, first and foremost democracy, have redefined or submerged older Islamic ideals hostile to representative government. The democratic government Iraqis are trying to build will have much more real-world appeal and traction in today’s Middle East than the very liberal democracy that many Americans in the occupation’s Coalition Provisional Authority and in Washington wanted to build in 2003.
The Arabs imported fascism — a significant component of Baathism, pan-Arabism and today’s Islamic fundamentalist imperialism — from the West. Why should we assume they are incapable of importing democracy?
Gerecht’s column is worth reading in full.
(via Clive Davis)