Yesterday I noted the action by the Iraqi National Assembly in passing significant reform legislation, and predicted that opponents of our engagement in Iraq would shrug it off. Perhaps that was too cynical, as at least one anti-war platform has grudgingly acknowledged it as a major step forward. When the New York Times admits it, what can Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi say?
Good news is rare in Iraq. …
Only if you read the New York Times. But I digress ….
But after months of bitter feuding, Iraq’s Parliament has finally approved a budget, outlined the scope of provincial powers, set an Oct. 1 date for provincial elections and voted a general amnesty for detainees.
All these steps are essential for national conciliation.
No, all of these are indications that national conciliation has already begun. In a democracy, the conditions for these steps have to already exist before a legislature decides to pass them. The elected representatives of a republic don’t just decide to impose policy that the vast majority of their constituents reject.
Still, this sounds pretty optimistic for the editorial board of the New York Times. They seem to recognize it, too, because they follow it immediately with this:
As always in Iraq, it is best to read the fine print. Final details of the legislation aren’t known. The country’s three-member presidency council must still sign off. And then the laws have to be implemented.
Yes, that’s the way it works in a democracy. The legislature passes laws, the executive approves them, and then they get enforced. The Gray Lady may have noticed that here in America, too. Perhaps they just figure their regular readers need a civics lesson.
But still, this is progress. They wait until the fourth paragraph to complain that the Bush administration needs to press harder for action. They don’t even mention the parliament’s five-week break until the final paragraph.
They leave a few points out of this editorial. For instance, they leave out that none of this would have been possible had we listened to General Harry Reid and Admiral Nancy Pelosi, both of whom declared defeat — Reid doing so literally — and demanding a bug-out for the last two years. They don’t mention that Hillary Clinton all but called (the real) General David Petraeus a liar for telling Congress that the situation had greatly improved in Iraq. The editors also fail to mention their acceptance of an ad that called Petraeus a traitor, placed by MoveOn, which supports candidates like Reid, Pelosi, and Clinton.
Had we listened to them, Iraqis would be dying by the tens of thousands, al-Qaeda would have turned Iraq into their own state, and they would have their hands on Iraq’s oil resources. The Times doesn’t bother to mention that, either. Maybe in another year, they’ll figure it out.