Before I have my hands crushed by the keyboard KGB, allow me to congratulate the Iraqi Communist Party and its fellow travelers in the West. Christopher Hitchens, one of those Marxist dinosaurs who really should be sent to Cuba while there’s still time to observe him in his proper habitat, must be happy to hear that the ICP appears to have won 10-15 seats in Iraq’s constitutional assembly. (That’s 10-15 out of 275, a ratio of no small consequence: can you imagine what 17-25 libertarians could do in the U.S. House of Representatives?) While "ex"-commie Stephen Schwartz has found a home among the FReeping red-staters, Hitchens has found his useful idiots among the dynamists, who will no doubt cheer on Iraq’s "progressives" as they do battle with the assorted fascists and fundamentalists who fill out this Bizarro World Constitutional Convention.

But as intrigued as you surely are by all the forthcoming drama, you’re probably wondering: When do we get to leave? I mean, first this war was about WMD, then we solved that problem (solved it in the sense that I solved the dragon problem in my house). Then it was about liberating the Iraqis, which we did when Saddam was, in Sean Hannity’s stirring words, "cornered like a rat, caught in a lizard’s den, in a spider hole." Then it was about establishing democracy, which we accomplished Sunday when the greatest election – nay, greatest moment – in history took place with 60% turnout (maybe just a wee bit coerced) and only ~40 dead. So we can leave and let all those Iraqi James Madisons and George Masons and Benjamin Franklins "chart their own course," right?

Are you kidding? Democracy, as every good progressive knows, isn’t just (or even mostly) about voting. You must have missed the understood modifier "social" in front of all this democracy jabber. We can’t leave until we establish social democracy:

    Combating unemployment, improving people’s standard of living, and preserving the purchasing power of their incomes.
    Maintaining the food ration system and improving the quality of ration contents.
    Tackling the injustice suffered by pensioners, and increasing their pay so as to ensure dignified life and secure old age.
    Ensuring the rights of workers to earn fair wages, and the rights stipulated by the Labour Law.
    Establishing a full social security system, and ensuring free health service.
    Offering all necessary help for the disabled, and compensating them for the harm they have suffered.
    Rebuilding the state sector (as the main sector) on the basis of efficiency and profitability.
    Promoting democratic and progressive culture in society through activating the role of intellectuals and providing them with the required support.
    Complete reform of the educational system, to satisfy the requirements of a democratic Iraq in this century.
    Combating illiteracy and ensuring free education.

Once Iraq has these things, then we can withdraw. Right? I’m just trying to get some sort of vague timetable here, say a thousand years. Or when we’ve given the Iraqis all these things, is Andrew Sullivan’s great-great grandclone going to demand benefits for the same-sex partners of all Iraqi employees? Is there any end in sight?