El inicio de un paso en Irak

La relativamente exitosa elección en Irak es una victoria muy importante para la democracia, pero no necesariamente para la reforma liberal en el Medio Oriente.

Esta es una distinción importante. Las fuerzas antidemocráticas que intentaron impedir que la gente votara allí eran grupos terroristas árabes sunitas, que abarcan desde partidarios de la dictadura del depuesto Saddam Hussein hasta seguidores del islamismo extremista de Osama bin Laden. Como los árabes sunnitas, que constituyen menos del 25% de la población, sabían que no podrían ganar una elección democrática, muchos de sus líderes alentaron un boicot.

En contraste, el 75% de la población de Irak está compuesta por árabes musulmanes chiítas, que saben que controlarán el nuevo régimen, y por kurdos, que desean autonomía local. Así, una amplia mayoría de la población tenía la certeza de que un gobierno democráticamente electo serviría a sus intereses, y participó ansiosamente en las urnas. Más aún, los clérigos chiítas ordenaron votar a sus fieles, incluidas las mujeres, advirtiéndoles que permanecer en sus casas el día de las elecciones era pecado.

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