Very soon, in less than 24 hours, the Iraqis will be able to decide the future of their country. Finally for the first time in an episode of a tediously long drama, they will be able to participate in a countrywide democratic process.

Earlier, I had actually thought that this election would elect the head of the state and other high state functions, similar to the November US presidential election. I was wrong.

Instead, the individuals elected into the Iraqi National Assembly will discuss and draft a new permanent constitution for Iraq. Later, the constitution will be voted by the Iraqis in a referendum. Moreover, the National Assembly will act as a transitional government, replacing the interim government. Once a version of the constitution is voted and agreed upon, the transitional government will be dissolved, making way for a permanent government. According to Wikipedia, the referendum must be held by October this year.

Wonderful isn’t it? It sounds so soon whereas the occupation seems to occupy reality ages ago.

In retrospect, I believed the war was unjustified. I still believe the war is unjustified. The Bush administration had blatantly lied in the face of public scrutiny and then went ahead to drive its war vehicle despite the red light could clearly be seen from even the back seat. In spite of that, one can’t push away the notion that Iraq, in some dimensions — for instance, pertaining to democracy and the environment — is improving.

Furthermore, what’s done is done and there is no need to lament too much about the past. The only acceptable conduct now is to make it the best out of the worst. This progress in Iraq is something that we all should be smiling for. Never mind which side you and I, they and us stand on the issue.

Meanwhile, the resistance movement has pledged to disrupt the upcoming election. It is unfortunate but comprehensible. It is imperative nevertheless for Iraqi to vote and not cave in to the threat. Submission to fear will lead to a slower resolution. The Coalition troops (really, the US and the UK. Alright, alright. And Tonga and Solomon Islands and…) have the obligation to remove the fear and they have imposed a curfew in order to prevent attack from occurring, or perhaps, more realistically, limits aggression.

Saddest part of this desert opera is not the threat of disruption by the resisting forces. Rather, minus the unlawful invasion itself, it is the decision of major Sunni groups to boycott the election. It is but a fool who would disfranchise himself from his own future. This will be the Iraqi Sunni greatest undoing.

We could only hope for the groups to change heart though I’m skeptical that would happen. I am, however, optimistic for Sunday. Indeed, we all should hope this event will go through without too much unnecessary cost.

p/s – ehem.

More on (via)
pp/s – the 2005 Environmental Sustainability Index is finally out. Read entry [495] and [496] for context. Malaysia got the 38th rung, moving 30 places from its initial position in the 2002 index. Malaysia also is the most environmental sustainable in ASEAN though issues like Bakun, Broga and Tioman tend to make me skeptical of the report by a tiny bit.According to the report, there are five variables and one of them is Social and Institutional Capability. This variable fit exactly of what I talked about in the two entries of mine. They however went further by including other variables and the inclusion of four other variables will certainly explain the variability (the R-square for those of you who are familiar with econometrics) much better.

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