Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Triangulation, Iraqi-style

NYT reports that Sunni political parties who have denounced the vote now say they will join in writing the constitution after the elections.

"BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 24 - Sunni Arab leaders who have been the most vocal in calling for a boycott or postponement of the coming elections say they intend to get involved in politics after the vote, including taking part in writing a permanent constitution.

There is too much at stake, with the constitution to be drafted by August 2005 and full-term elections held by year's end, for Sunni groups to reject the political process, the leaders say, even if they are sticking to their denunciation of the elections."

This strikes me "triangulation," Iraqi-style, by cunning and pragmatic Sunni politicans. First, they get on the ballot as a Sunni party. In the face of widespread Sunni insurgent violence, they do an about-face and denounce the elections to survive, conveniently leaving their party on the ballot. After the elections, they can about-face again to be involved in the constitional debates, using any votes they do receive as a mandate for inclusion.


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