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How Do The Iraqis Define Democracy?

The Bush Apologists are out in force in the CEC these days, otherwise awaiting that expected call from Fox News, smugly enjoying the deemed success of the Iraqi election turnout. The Coalition forces strategic ability to virtually seal the areas surrounding polling places by banning automobile traffic and establishing checkpoints, apparently played no part in Iraqi voters’ determination to participate in what hopefully is, this first act of their future democracy.

As usual however, the administration is not thinking or planning ahead. Two weeks from now, the Insurgents' attacks are expected to resume and the leaders of the declared winning parties will begin hearing the increasing demands of their new constituents for the withdrawal of all occupying forces from Iraq. This, in spite of the fact that the U.S. has not trained anywhere near the necessary number of Iraqi troops considered vital to maintaining order, which then increases the likelihood of civil war if the Coalition forces were to depart.

And, here is where a clear demarcation between what the Iraqi people expect, and what their newly elected government can actually (or want to) deliver, must be established. Juan Cole of Informed Comment offers a cautionary reading of the election, and tackles the difficulties facing a coalition Iraqi governing body. However, I believe it is the fervor in which energized voters will seek to flex their perceived authority that must not be underestimated here.

It will become clear, that no compromise that maintains the current troop levels will be acceptable to Iraqi voters, as the democracy they risked their lives to validate, includes the right to rid themselves of their Occupiers.

So far, this election is the only thing the Bush administration has delivered on. For nearly two years, Iraqis have been frustrated and patient, as well as, lied to and ignored. Their understanding of Democracy to this point, should be the promised restoration of basic services, an expanding economic model that continues to generate jobs of decent wages, which would then decrease the number of those tempted to join an Insurgency out of anger, fueled by powerful rhetoric and dangerous idleness. The true motivation of Al Zarqawi may be the violent grab for power by religious theocrats, but presently, Iraqis clearly believe that by removing the occupying forces from the equation, it will bring an end to the violence.

For the last 20 months, the Iraqis have been powerless to compel the Coalition Forces to deliver on their promises. If a concerted, genuine effort had been attempted (translation: planned/anticipated beforehand), the question of their presence would be moot, at this point. Contrary to the assumptions of the gloating Bush administration however, delivering this glorious gift of 'Liberty and Freedom' does not for a moment excuse or make up for the previous, countless failures. And, neither will the specter of civil war triggered by the departure of 150,000 troops, dissuade Iraqis from an impending ultimatum.

For the near future, the MSM (Murdoch Seduced Media) will utilize an endless supply of 'Inspirational Stories of the Blue Finger Revolution', pronouncing the Iraqis' yearning for Democracy as the obvious, persuasive motivator. Yet I counter argue, that their stronger impetus was to secure the one promise they could be assured their occupiers could not renege on - the power to send them packing.

As I've said previously, two weeks from now we may be looking at a scenario where the Iraqis people want us gone, Insurgency violence has once again returned, and the hopeful respite of the election has dissipated. What then happens to the $80 Billion more Bush wants for the war? Is the ideal staging for an attack on Iran, now a one-prong operation out of Afghanistan? Is our conspiracy cover now blown, and the implicit war cost expected to be recouped thru Iraqi oil revenues?

Remember when we found out what Bush's form of 'Compassionate Conservative' in fact, turned out to be? Well, we're going to soon find out what his idea of Democracy in Iraq really looks like.

But I can tell you right now it looks nothing like the Iraqis' version of Democracy.

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at February 1, 2005 7:23 PM