Both nations have so far avoided the flagrant cheating and repression as witnessed in recent elections in Iran. In fact, Iraq and Afghanistan look more and more like functioning democracies, where the use of ballots to attack corruption makes the use of bullets much less likely. These developments are an obvious tribute to the vision and leadership of George W. Bush—and the heroic sacrifices by America’s military.
With all the bad news regularly emanating reported from the Islamic world it’s refreshing to be able to cite two positive developments. In the Kurdish region of Iraq, July elections produced huge turnouts with an unexpected strong showing for a new reformist party dedicated to fighting corruption. A similar party in Afghanistan, led by pro-western former foreign minister, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, is drawing huge support and could force President Karzai into a run-off.