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dudeness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 12:54 AM
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The fantasy of democracy in an Arab state
Arab states are largely squalid, corrupt, brutal dictatorships. No surprise there. We created most of these dictators

Robert Fisk

13 February 2004: (The Independent) For democracy, read fantasy. Iraq is getting so nasty for our great leaders these days that anything - and anyone - is going to be thrown to the dogs to save them. The BBC, the CIA, British intelligence - any journalist that dares to point out the lies that led us to war - get pelted with more lies. The moment we suggest that Iraq never was fertile soil for Western democracy, we get accused of being racists. Do we think the Arabs are incapable of producing democracy, we are asked? Do we think they are subhuman?

This kind of tosh comes from the same family of abuse as that which labels all and every criticism of Israel anti-Semitic. If we even remind the world that the cabal of neo-conservative, pro-Israeli proselytisers - Messers Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Kristol, et al - helped to propel President Bush and US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld into this war with grotesquely inaccurate prophecies of a new Middle East of democratic, pro-Israeli Arab states, we are told that we are racist even to mention their names. So let's just remember what the neo-cons were advocating back in the golden autumn of 2002 when Tony was squaring up with George to destroy the Hitler of Baghdad.

They were going to re-shape the map of the Middle East and bring democracy to the region. The dictators would fall or come onside - thus the importance of persuading the world now that the preposterous Gaddafi is a "statesman" (thank you, Jack Straw) for giving up his own infantile nuclear ambitions - and democracy would blossom from the Nile to the Euphrates. The Arabs wanted democracy. They would seize it. We would be loved, welcomed, praised, embraced for bringing this much sought-after commodity to the region. Of course, the neo-cons got it wrong.

The latest contribution to the defence of these men came from David Brooks in The New York Times. "In truth," he writes, "the people labelled 'neo-cons'... don't actually have much contact with one another... There have been hundreds of references, for example, to Richard Perle's insidious power over administration policy, but I've been told by senior administration officials that he has had no significant meetings with Bush or Cheney since they assumed office... All evidence suggests that Bush formed his conclusions independently."
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mmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:04 AM
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1. Another awesome Fisk piece
damn he's good
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 12:53 PM
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2. Fisk has a nasty way of getting it right
Robert Fisk is very good as exposing the talking points of Western right wing propaganda for the straw men arguments they really are. The invasion of Iraq was not designed to replace Saddam with a democratic regime; it was designed to replace Saddam with a regime more compliant with transnational corporate interests. A democratic regime would necessarily represent the interests of the Iraqi people; the colonialists who invaded Iraq desire a regime that for which they established Saddam in power: resolve all conflicts between popular interests and those of western transnational corporations in favor of the latter.

Bremer says there can be no elections before the June "handover" of "sovereignty" - in itself a lie because the "handover" will give the mythical "sovereignty" of Iraq to a group of Iraqis chosen by the Americans and the British. They will - prayers are now called for - later hold the democratic elections we falsely promised the Iraqi people and which the Iraqi Shias are now vociferously demanding. And even if these elections are ever held, most Iraqis will vote according to tribe and religion. That is how their political system has worked for almost a hundred years and that is how the American-selected "interim council" works today.

Yes, Bremer is full of baloney. Ayatollah Sistani's elections may result in an Islamic Republic rather than a real democracy, but for my money that's a better deal for the Iraqi people than the one Bush and Bremer are pushing. Furthermore, it has a better chance of evolving into a democracy than the neo-colonial regime of Bremer's handpicked quislings.
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