Rule of Law in Iraq?

The article linked above is one of those that's hard to write a blurb that will make you want to read it, so I will let the author whet your appetite himself:

BAGHDAD - Because of my temporary and purposely broad role here as a rule of law advisor, I have the luxury of being able to think about the bigger picture (and indeed am occasionally specifically asked to do so).

For example, is it even right to talk about developing "rule of law"—as we understand that term—in Iraq? Does it not betray a Western bias, not in the politically correct sense, but in terms of political anthropology? And even if it is right, and what we should in theory be doing, is it realistic—in Iraq generally but especially under the current conditions of insurgency?

Go read the whole thing. It's really thought provoking.

Okay, one more quote:

Of course, where those local customs, traditions, and culture are wholly illiberal, universal principles must trump, because part of nation-building is fixing what's broken. Like the British general said in India:

'You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.'

Just had to include that one.