August 12, 2008

Boring is good...

Nibris Kazimi:

....But here's a quick note on all that's happening in Iraq concerning the Provincial Elections Law, the Oil Law, and Kirkuk: the question that everyone should be asking is "Will this political turmoil lead to violence?" and answer is that the potential for increased violence is minimal.

It's politics, folks. Why should Americans involve themselves in the nitty-gritty details of Iraqi politics? It is all being sorted out in heated bargaining and deal-making. Should Iraqis concern themselves with the pork-barreling and congressional re-districting of the U.S. Congress? No, they shouldn't.

The Iraq story is getting boring, and that's a good thing. The 'analysts' and 'experts' who staked their reputations on the idea that Iraq is a failed state are feverishly hoping that the embers of violence would catch fire anew so that a certain presidential candidate may win and they'd get to keep their fake status of self-styled 'expertise'. My own reading of the situation is that is futile to go delving into the ashes of a failed insurgency that hasn't got the wherewithal to burst aflame again....

It's hardly more than hunch, but I've had a certain confidence in the Iraqis since we started getting educated about them back in 2002. A confidence I certainly don't feel about certain other Arab Middle East nations and groups. Bloggers pass around stories, and the stories about Iraqis are often like meeting people one would like to know. My bet is that the Iraqis will keep their democracy, although it will be a rough-edged thing.

I worry however about Iraq having so much oil. That seems to be a curse on nations. When the government gets a lot of it's income from selling oil or other natural resources, it doesn't have much reason to encourage its people to be the sort of free and enterprising population that creates real wealth, and thus yields tax revenues. It doesn't need to serve the people, so as to dispose them to be willing to pay taxes. To some extant, it doesn't need the people at all, and can hurt them with impunity. A temptation few politicians can resist over the long run...

My advice to Iraq might be to give its oil profits directly to the people, and then support the government by taxing them.

Posted by John Weidner at August 12, 2008 9:54 AM
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