Sectarianism and Democracy in Iraq

A New York Times article by Erica Goode and Ahmed Fadam argues that “deep political and religious fissures” are preventing Iraq’s capacity for stability. The piece noted that the stark divisions were made apparent following the national reconciliation conference on Tuesday, given the fact that “three of the most important political blocs boycotted the conference.”

Also in the Times, an editorial today denounced the President’s failed policy, saying that “sectarian warfare was raging for months while Mr. Bush refused to listen.” The writers further express concern over the difficulty in reaching agreement on provincial elections, where the bill was passed in Parliament but “vetoed by the Presidency Council of Iraq’s top leaders.” Alleged “pressure”by Vice-President Cheney enforced the holding of the October elections.