Monday, January 17, 2005

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, I spent the holiday shopping.

Well, I really only did some grocery shopping, and buying some super deeply discounted winter clothes (fleece lined jacket- $10!!!). In any event, I was not at work today, which meant that I got to do some things I don't usually get to do.

Like listen to Rush Limbaugh.

My, God- what a dunderhead. To celebrate the spirit of MLK, he mostly denigrated contemporary civil rights activists, calling them socialists. He spouted some statistics about minority business starts, and how African-Americans are economically better off now. As if equality meant a bigger bank account.

Don't get me wrong, those things are good things- but they're not the same as equality. There is still much to be done in this country in terms of race relations, and Rush Limbaugh has no interest in doing them.

Of course, now that we've had our "accountability moment," I doubt that the White House will do anything.

Besides, they're too bust bringing democracy to Iraq. They're even going to let expat Iraqis vote. I've thought a fair bit about that, and I've come to the conclusion that the only way to get a friendly government (i.e. Sunni) elected, is to stack the deck with anti-Baathist Sunnis- who all live in Detroit, apparently. I really do not have the numbers to back up the above assertion, but I suspect it's probably correct. Anyway, about 1.2 million Iraqis live abroad, while about 20 million voting age persons live in Iraq.

Iraq is about 85% ethnic Iraqi and 15% Kurdish. No one is worried about the Kurds- they'll form a minority third party, but you can take those 3 million voters out of the power equation. Of the ethnic Iraqis, they break down 50% Shiite and 45% Sunni. 8.5 million Shiites, and about 7.7 Sunnis.

And just over 1 million expats. If my guess is correct, the final tally is 8.7 million Sunni voters. Not a terribly large margin, but just enough of one to put a (slightly less unfriendly) government in Baghdad.

I really doubt that these elections will alleviate the situation on the ground in Iraq, especially if these expat voters tip the scales toward the Sunnis. Imagine 2000, with all those disenfranchised Floridians running around, agitating about a stolen election. Only instead of "Bush Cheated" signs, they all have IEDs.

Exactly the kind of democracy we want to spread throughout the worldd- oh, and it will spread, too. The buzz on CNN this morning was that "unnamed sources" revealed that war plans are in place for Iran by July.

If this is true, it will take more than one moment of accountability to make it right.

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