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Was 1864 election illegitimate?

Reader comment on item: U.S. Needs To Learn Patience [in Iraq]

Submitted by Pat (United States), Nov 30, 2004 at 23:46

Postponing elections only validates (or seems to) the argument that we are there to rule the country and take their oil. The Sunni insurrection will continue unless and until those Iraqis who want freedom participate in an election. It may not be perfect and it need not be complete (how about just electing the president?), but there needs to be progress or too many Iraqis may decide we're not serious.

It will be harder for the international community to reject an Iraqi leader who has been selected by a majority of his countrymen in an election monitored by the UN. Right now, they have no problem deriding the Allawi government as a puppet of the US. We can't wait for conditions to be ideal or the elections will never happen.

The US held elections in the midst of a civil war. It was important to show that our government was intact and functioning. Those states still fighting the central government didn't participate. Under the rules you suggest, Abraham Lincoln's reelection would have been delegitimized by the world community.
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