The headline for William Safire’s Op-Ed piece in today’s NYT is “Four connected elections”, and the teaser is
More than one election will affect the young democracy in the land of Saddam’s former tyranny.
Obviously, there’s the election in Iraq itself, and the US election in November. Then there’s another Presidential election in Afghanistan. What’s the fourth? You might expect that the first national election to be held in one of the original “Coalition of the Willing” countries since the war would count for something. But actually, it appears that Safire counts the outcome in Najaf as a ‘primary’.
I’m well aware of how little we are noticed, but even so I opened Safire’s article expecting a mention of Oz. For anyone who thinks that our policy of unwavering support for the US buys us anything in the way of gratitude, or even attention, this is a sobering reminder of our insignificance in American eyes.
fn1. Which by the way, he grossly misinterprets. Sistani, who he correctly presents as the big winner, has been an unwavering opponent of the US occupation. However happy he may be that Sadr is out of Najaf, he is unlikely to countenance a continued presence once a Shia majority government is installed.