My deacon got up during the service yesterday and pleaded during the announcements for everyone to pray for the Iraqi elections. She had asked me right before the service if we would add it to the prayers also. I'm glad she brought it up, I guess. She was very passionate. And she's usually allergic to politics.
The elections are a good thing - I think it will offer breathing space for some Iraqis. I am still pretty sure that there were less painful ways for Iraq to get to this point, but maybe, as the wildfire burns, the seeds will have more fertile soil in which to grow. Look - I'm not trying to be optimistic - I just think that if this offers even a smidgen of happiness - we might see some positive ripples: groups might decide to get organized; and there might be a conscious local resistance against the insurgents, which is the key.
Al Jazeera [is it the Arab Fox News? Well, I'm always for self-representation] is a bit less optimistic about the percentages, but perhaps this is a "were you there..." moment that will galvanize those who would fight for an Iraqi republic. As I've said before, it is not the ideology of this administration that bothers me [although it does bother me] as much as its utter incompetence.
Christopher Hitchens reminds us that the Iraq war is nothing like the Vietnam war - which is something I'm inclined to agree about.
I think the success of the war hinges on our ability to find credible Sunnis who will work with Sistani. Again, my worry is that we'll find ways to undermine the people who've been elected. At least the US has politically credible side can lose to without losing face. This is the right direction. I'm amazed it happened.
And, perhaps the calculations of the neo-cons are right. If this does inspire the Egyptians, the Saudis, the Syrians, and the Iranians to work for democracy in their own countries, we might find a worthy counter to popular fundamentalism. On the other hand, maybe those fundamentalists will get elected. Robert Fisk, is very cynical.
Raed isn't so positive, however. He writes: "If anyone thinks that the current elections are fundamentally different
from the ones that used to happen before the war, you are wrong. Maybe
at that time Iraqis had one fake option, and now they have 100 fake
The current elections will open the doors of hell. They'll open the doors for internal conflicts, and they'll increase the attacks on the occupation forces, when everyone sees how the bush administration has no intention of pulling out from Iraq and paying compensation for the illegal war they started.
I really wish that Iraq will have the chance to hold real and sovereign elections one day."
Also, today, one parishioner gave me an article, blown up in 100 point font, from USA today about the Church in Rochester NH closing. "See!" He said. "The communion is going up in flames."
I told him I had heard about it, and that I was very sad.
Which I was.
But I just wanted to have a danish and talk about football with him instead.