Tuesday, April 22, 2003
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GIVE NICHOLAS KRISTOFF HIS DUE:
GIVE NICHOLAS KRISTOFF HIS DUE: I like it when public commentators admit it when they were wrong (and Lord knows, I have to do it all too frequently). Not because it humbles them, but because it sends an important signal of credibility. It tells me that their theoretical take on the world is not rigid to the point where it distorts their empirical assessment of the world.
Which brings me to Kristoff's column today. Here's his opening:
He covers a lot of the same ground that I posted about two weeks ago. However, it carries more weight when a dove admits it.
Of course, that doesn't I think Kristoff is right in this conclusion:
We'll see whether Kristoff is correct. However, approximately 40% of Iraq are not Shi'Ite, and I'm betting that a healthy fraction of the Shi'ites don't want to see an Islamic Republic.
The key will be to see the proliferation of Iraqi media. The more people that see moderately large Shi'ite demonstrations for an Islamic republic, the more it will mobilize alternative social movements who will oppose such actions. The fundamental question is, at this point, whether hard-line Shi'ites will then choose to moderate their tone to stay in the political game a la Tajikistan, or choose secessionist or rejectionist strategies.
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan has more on Kristoff and the future for democracy in Iraq.posted by Dan on 04.22.03 at 02:48 PM