Secular Democracy, Foundering Among the Sects

3 Secular Iraqis in Cabinet to Formally Resign

By Megan Greenwell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 25, 2007; A12
BAGHDAD, Aug. 24 — Escalating a political crisis that has paralyzed the Iraqi government, three secular cabinet members will formally resign Saturday, according to a senior member of the group.
The Iraqi National List, an umbrella group of several political parties composed of secular Sunnis and Shiites, had boycotted cabinet meetings since Aug. 7 because of frustrations with what they saw as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s divisive leadership style. The party, headed by former prime minister Ayad Allawi, will now submit the official resignations, National List member Iyad Jamal al-Deen said.

“The problem is in having a political agenda that is founded on a sectarian basis,” Deen said.
Sorry ’bout that, Jamal. That’s what happens when democracy is imposed on a sectarian country.

Political parties are non-religious sects as well. Essentially, we have a government in the United States based on Republican and Democratic ‘sects.’ At its best it works, at its worst it grumbles around in ‘sectarian’ confusion and immobility.

The difference is that in Iraq, government is still doing the petulant thing–taking their marbles and going home. Democracy is new to them and sectarian strife is not only old and honored, but understood. We have and they have a very long way to go in Iraq. I doubt whether we or they will ultimately have the patience for it.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Iraq War, check out

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.