A reader chides me for not acknowledging that such videos as I posted on yesterday are often designed to showcase ignorance and might even ignore those students who do know the facts. True, but I still found it surprising and a little alarming to hear such things at a top-flight university. The reader also wonders if we have decided not to call Iraq a democracy when we speak of Israel as the only democracy in the Mideast. Well, they do have elections in Iraq, but Freedom House lists Iraq as “not free.” This is how they explain it:
Iraq held parliamentary elections in March 2010 that both international and domestic monitoring groups described as free and fair. However, rival political groupings were unable to form a governing coalition until December. Insurgents took advantage of the prolonged political limbo to pursue a campaign of violence against national institutions and sectarian targets. Government statistics suggested that violence during the summer reached levels not seen in two years. Meanwhile, the U.S. military formally declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, but some 50,000 U.S. troops remained in the country under a mandate to “advise and assist” their Iraqi counterparts. In the Kurdish region, political elites launched a series of attacks on opposition journalists during the year.