Iraq: March 8, 2004

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The Iraqi Governing Council finally settled most of their differences and signed the interim constitution. Most Iraqis have no idea what the constitution and elections are all about, being more concerned with jobs and personal security. But the tribal chiefs, religious leaders, professional politicians and major businessmen (even Saddam allowed some private enterprise to operate) are maneuvering to control the new government. And the corruption that has long plagued Iraq is much in evidence. Iraqis returning from exile point out that the corruption is bad for the economy and democracy, but most Iraqis have only a vague idea of what clean government is. The real battle for Iraq will be in the voting places and government offices during the next year, as Iraqis decide if clean government is worth the struggle to fight those who live by corrupt practices. This isn't a battle that gets much attention, but it will, more than the car bombs, decide the future of Iraq.

 

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