Ralf Dahrendorf: Perspectives before one war, which doesn't want to finish [19 November 2004]

Ralf Dahrendorf:  Perspectives before one war, which doesn't want to finish Fragments :

[...]The history teaches us, that the elections do not create democracies. They just confirm that preconditions for a democratic constitution of the society are available. Besides the elections are not the first steps in the democratization process, they are the last step in one preparatory phase, during which at least two other prerequisites should be established.
The condition number one is the settled territory relations. In “tribal societies” this could not be an easy undertaking; the Bosnian experience explains why: no mater how much the multiethnic national states have been favored, one is clear: after the failure of such a construction it is impossible not to attend to people’s aspirations. After that there could be formed stable united communities, which are not ideal indeed, but at least are able to constitute a legitimate government – a government that could be effective and acceptable.
It would be devastating if the developing IraqKurdish integrated community is destroyed in favor of an abstract and inexistent anymore bigger Iraq.

The second precondition for the implementation of free elections is the security. At the beginning it may be a military task. For achieving of durable peace the tanks and the permanent air strikes threat would not be sufficient. The security demands not only armies, but laws and their complete execution – in other word: “the rule of law” state. Lord Ashdown, the supreme representative of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, showed, that this second pillar (parallel with the democracy and the free elections) is typical of every liberal order. For its implementation extremely brave people are needed for judges and strong authorities, who would be able to enforce the laws, which can be done.
Such a strategy, in a Muslin country like Iraq, would also guarantee a protection against law’s abuse by the side of the religious fanatics. Therefore by this way a some kind of “Turkish decision” could be executed: the prime-minister Erdogan undertake exactly such a challenge, which his great predecessor Kemal Ataturk assumed a hundreds years ago. Maybe Iraq needs one new Ataturk much more than elections.

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