The spread of democracy

The spread of democracy

: In the Wall Street Journal, Dan Henninger compares the growth of democracy in Ukraine and Iraq and also reports on meeting the blogging brothers behind

They made a couple of other interesting points about Iraq’s political mood. One, Iraqis won’t vote for a government dominated by Islamist religionists. Why? The abhorred next-door example of Iran’s mullahs. This mirrors elections already held in Iraq. In a local election last year in Nazariya, with 47,000 votes cast amid imams urging support for Islamic parties, the biggest vote-getters were teachers, engineers and other professionals.

And current party coalitions notwithstanding, the man on the street is sounding cussedly independent. A farmer in Samarra told them: “I will vote for a good man, Shia or Sunni.” “We Iraqis don’t trust any government now,” says Mohammed, though Prime Minister Allawi’s public standing rose after he first cleaned up Shiite Najaf, then Sunni Fallujah….

Ukraine is not Iraq. Iraq is not Afghanistan. Or South Africa or Russia for that matter. The voyage to democratic maturity is never the same. Each passage across requires that a people show themselves willing to brave the tumult that precedes self-governance. Whether Ukrainians or Iraqis (or Iranians), all these peoples deserve public support from the nations and people who are already securely moored to the democratic dock.

I just left a local bar with Hoder’s bloggers’ dinner and Dan himself. More later.