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Hope for Iraq

Despite the current problems, a sustainable democracy in Iraq has historical pedigree. It is not only possible, it is likely. Here's the plan.

Since the coalition forces entered Baghdad on 9th April, hopes for a quick transition to a free and stable Iraq have turned into a deepening pessimism about the country’s future. The situation remains chaotic in some parts of the country, but the creation of an Iraqi governing council is a hopeful sign. Moreover, coalition and Iraqi administrators struggling to establish a democratic Iraq do have various political and historical factors on their side.

Democratic institutions are, after all, not alien to Iraq. Under the Hashemite monarchy (1921-58), Iraq adopted a parliamentary system modelled on Britain. Political parties existed from the…

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