More Advice to the New President: Whats Common between Iraq and Palestine?

Out of the many pieces of advice to the new US President Barack Obama, the one that I would read again is that by Paul Gilroy on, his advice was short, positive and describes a simple action that can lead to profound consequences: Free Marwan Barghouti. Marwan Barghouti is a Palestinian leader with wide acceptance among his people, known for his anti corruption position and his distinction between military and civilian targets when attacking Israel as an occupier of his homeland, he was arrested in questionable circumstances by the Israelies and sentenced by a civilian court for attacks on military targets. The message is clear: If you want to stop the Palestinian rockets you got to provide them with leadership they can identify with and who’s order to stop the firings will be obeyed. The detaining of Barghouti is stalling Palestinian democracy.
Iraq’s situation is a little more complicated, its like the US has friends in Iraq but with friends like these who needs enemies? The foundation of Iraq’s democracy is fragile, it is not based on population census as it should be, and the elction process lacks accountability and transparency. The US Iraqi friends know that this situation is only temporary so they are taking full advantage: The abused turns to abuser. The cure is more complicated because the foundation must be fixed, fair census, which will most likely be refused by the advantaged friends of the US, so it is up to the US to call for a UN Security Council resolution mandating census and election supervision. I am not calling for the US to abandon its friends; support can take many forms but should not come at the cost of stalled democracy.
In the end it is all about cost: What’s common between Iraq and Palestine is a situation of stalled democracy which transfers the less expensive control of a local situation to, ultimately, the US at high price. It is up to the new President to offload the cost of control and let local democracy do its job.

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