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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Is Iraqi Fear Subsiding?

How glorious it must be for Iraqi citizens to see the fear society they have lived in for so long start to subside. Perhaps the election last week contributed more than we may realize. Today's Washington Post has an article that claims fear is in retreat. Perhaps most interesting is this qoute:

Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the interim finance minister and a powerful figure in the Shiite-led coalition expected to dominate Iraq's new National Assembly, contends that the elections created a sense of solidarity that helped dissolve an Iraqi aversion to trusting neighbors, a habit ingrained during the Hussein era. He said "People know their neighbors now. They know they are on the same front as their neighbors -- they all went out and voted..."

It would seem odd from our vantage point to think seeing a neighbor at the same polling place would be of any consequence. But for Iraqis who have been living in fear for more than a generation, discussion of such things with neighbors is still probably taboo. After all, how can you really know whose side your nighbor is really on...therefore, why discuss politics at all.

However, if you saw your neighbor voting in last week's election, then you know, with no doubt, whose side he or she is on and that there is no doubt. Further, you may have also seen your neighbor's neighbor at the same polling place. Last week 8 million Iraqis found out they were on the same side. What a glorious feeling.