Everyone is frustrated with the political process in Iraq right now, so it is easy to lose sight of how extraordinary it is to see Arabs engaging in a political process at all. At Power Line Video, you can watch Iraqi politician Iyad Jamal Al-Din ask some good questions, like these:
How come Israel has developed a democratic regime…whereas the Arabs have not developed democratic regimes, using the existence of Israel as a pretext? How come Israel is not using the Arabs as a pretext for delaying its economic development, its free economy, and its free press?
It’s a reminder of what a huge development it will be in the history of the Arab world, and the Muslim world generally, if Iraq can turn itself into a functioning democracy.
Courtesy of our friends at MEMRI.
UPDATE: Here’s another positive development in the region:
Women made history in Kuwait on Tuesday by voting and running for office for the first time in a local by-election after the conservative, US-allied Gulf state granted them suffrage last year.
Some 28 000 voters, including 16 000 women, are eligible to cast ballots for the six men and two women standing.
Last May, parliament passed a government-sponsored bill granting suffrage to women who had fought for their political rights for more than four decades.
The United States has urged Middle Eastern states to reform their political systems.
Tuesday’s election paves the way for women to take part in 2007 parliamentary polls, the first since Kuwait’s new ruler, Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, took office this year after the death of his half-brother.
Kuwait is the first Gulf Arab state with an elected law-making parliament, but Qatar became the first country in the conservative region to name a woman minister in 2003, and most countries in the area have since followed suit.
Via Power Line News.