January 13, 2004

Hankering for Democracy

Think Iraqi Arabs (or Russian Slavs, Chinese peasants, or nostalgic Francoists) are genetically predisposed to prefer to obey, in brow-beaten fashion, a strong authoritarian hand providing rigid order rather than interested in enjoying the fruits of democracy?

Well, maybe not:

"Part civics lesson, part group therapy session, the discussion left people craving more. Men prepared entire speeches that they read from the floor, often to be politely cut off by the moderator. One woman in the dress of a devout Muslim asked how to get women who lead exceedingly traditional lives at home involved in the political process. No one answered her.

When the forum ended, a man at the floor microphone shouted: "A hundred times I requested the chance to ask a question! But I think you don't want some of us to talk!"

This Iraqi sounds like, er, Bob Woodward or something. And, just imagine if he had uttered that phrase during the old Saddam days....

Posted by Gregory at January 13, 2004 08:58 AM
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