A good day in Iraq yesterday, I'd say. Hope it goes forward. Jonathan Schell's book The Unconquerable World provides some interesting historical context. I think perhaps somebody in the Bush administration has been reading it, though the particular mixture of violence, realpolitik & popular will there is not exactly like any of the historical examples (Vietnam, the US civil rights movement, Soviet Eastern Europe, etc.) Schell studies.

The Iraq "occupation" and "insurgency" seem to display Schell's panorama in a reverse mirror : here the occupation is aligned with the majority; here the army, rather than the insurgency, loses every battle, but wins the war.

Schell, of course, looks beyond the arms market and the security state - seeing popular nonviolent democracy movements as the hope of the future. His keynote theme is the paradoxical power of mass nonviolence. Something of that was visible yesterday, in the photos of Iraqis bravely holding up their ink-stained voting fingers. Power to the people.

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