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The Land of the Purple Finger
Bucking the Odds

As Egypt “counts its votes” and Syria prepares for its own bogus elections in early June, a real and highly consequential democratic process continues into a critical phase in another Arab country where such a thing was for decades even more unlikely: Iraq.

Published on: May 30, 2014
Bartle Bull, an author and journalist who has contributed from Iraq for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, and other publications, is the former foreign editor of Prospect Magazine. He manages a fund that invests on the Baghdad stock exchange, and his next book is a history of Iraq.
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  • Pete

    Is Iraq a real country? Maybe Biden was right — break it into thirds.

    • Happy Camper

      Was Biden right? You answered your own question.

  • Andrew Allison

    “No imaginable new coalition could possibly do worse than Maliki and his entourage at running the state, when it comes to everything from the economy and basic services to managing communitarian differences.” is good news? The fact that the elections were remarkably democratic is one thing, their result, the most likely outcome apparently being the return of the Maliki autocracy and continued conflict with the Sunnis and Kurds, quite another.

  • higgins1990

    Obama will probably bomb it to prevent Iraq from turning into a democracy. Can’t have GWB vindicated, you see.

  • The American left has been salivating for a civil war in Iraq for a long time.

    I wonder what sort of opinion pieces they would have written back in the day when America was taking its first toddling steps towards real freedom. Please never forget that we had our civil ward almost a century after our founding.

    If Iraq continues to struggle, but is able to maintain a real political process with relatively fair elections, I see that as win/win/win for all the sacrifice by our military.

    Who do we have to pay to get that purple finger thing going in America? My guess is it would immediately put most of the dems out of office if voters could really only vote once in America.

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