Charles Krauthammer: Fighting the good fight
"WASHINGTON -- In 1864, 11 of the 36 United States did not participate in the presidential election. Was Lincoln's election therefore illegitimate?
In 1868, three years after the security situation had, shall we say, stabilized, three states (not insignificant ones: Texas, Virginia and Mississippi) did not participate in the election. Was Grant's election illegitimate?
There has been much talk that if the Iraqi election is held and some Sunni Arab provinces (perhaps 3 of the 18) do not participate, the election will be illegitimate. Nonsense. The election should be held. It should be open to everyone. "
Krauthammer goes on to point out that the Sunnis make up about 20% of the population and have held power over the majority Shia for 80 years. He is of the opinion that there is already a civil war in Iraq, but only one side is fighting it. US soldiers are fighting and dying to defend the Shia muslims and Kurds from the Sunnis.
Ironically I had this very conversation this morning at the Free Speech Cafe
. Some people think that we should postpone this election because the Sunnis are threatening not to participate and there could continue to be violence. A postponement would be a victory for the terrorists and obstructionists. The forces who would stop the democratization and stabilization of Iraq want to stop this election in January and I don't think we can afford to postpone this election. There will be more violence leading up to the election, but hopefully things will be more stable afterwards...or at least no worse than before. I have coffee (really any caffeinated beverage) riding on no civil war a week after the election.
Speaking of bets, I have a $20 bet that Rumsfeld will still be Secretary of Defense on inauguration day (this one is looking good
) and we have lunch riding on a three way bet based on troop levels in Iraq in June, 2005. I say less troops, a highly esteemed professor says more troops, and an Army officer says no troops. (This officer beat me on a bet over Rage Against the Machine lyrics, I am hopeful for payback.)