About that budding democracy

Conservatives want to know why the mainstream media hasn't been more sanguine on Iraq. Here's one reason.

By Mark Follman
Published March 29, 2005 6:53PM (EST)

Lately, conservative bloggers have been accusing the mainstream media of shirking good news from the war front. (Perhaps they missed this recent feature in the New York Times.) Last Friday, TNR's Lawrence Kaplan wondered why the media has failed to report a broader "trend" of positive developments in the war zone, especially since the relatively successful Iraqi elections at the end of January.

Maybe one reason is that there is no legitimate democratic government in sight. Here's Edward Wong from today's New York Times, reporting on the second gathering of the new Iraqi parliament in Baghdad:

"The second meeting of the new Iraqi constitutional assembly descended into a series of contentious exchanges today, as some members accused others of hijacking the political process and betraying the Iraqi people by failing to form a government. Prominent politicians also said in interviews that the delay in forming a government could force the assembly to take an extra half-year to write the permanent constitution, pushing the deadline for a first draft well beyond the original target date of Aug. 15. That means the delay could significantly throw off the timetable for the establishment of a full-term democratically elected government.

"The anger boiled over into a shouting match today and showed the fiery tensions that are rising as the main political parties fail to reach an agreement to form a coalition government, more than two months after Iraqi voters defied insurgent threats to vote in the first free elections here in a half-century."

How long till that anger boils back over into the streets?

Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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