ARAB DEMOCRACY….AtlanticBlog joins Tom Friedman and a host of others who find the Arab League’s attitude toward the new Iraqi Council a mite disingenuous:

They appear to be shocked, utterly shocked, that the council is not elected, and they are upset because they think it is a puppet government. So let’s do a quick review of the Arab League.

And he does, concluding ? rather generously, I think ? that four of the 21 members actually have some microscopic sprouts of democracy, while the other 17 don’t even bother pretending. You can read his whole list and decide for yourself, but the bottom line is that a concern for democracy doesn’t wear well on this group.

What’s odd about the whole thing is that while the Arab League richly deserves derision for refusing to recognize the council because it’s not elected, they actually have a perfectly good reason for their action: the council isn’t really in charge. De facto control of a country is a commonly accepted prerequisite for recognizing a government, and there’s no question that it’s the United States that’s in charge of Iraq right now. So one wonders: they could have simply said they were going to wait until they felt the council truly controlled the country, but instead they made themselves a laughingstock by complaining about the lack of elections. Why?

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