Iraqi “Democracy” a Joke

Well, it looks like the Bush Administration’s goal to “export” American democracy is exceeding all expectations, as Iraq is now itself poised on the brink of its own election scandal.

How else does one explain the possibility of either Ayad Allawi (the interim Prime Minister who personally executed six dissidents to “send a message”) or Ahmad Chalabi — both CIA assets with ties to U.S. government — ascending to leadership in Iraq despite tanking in January 30th’s election?

Try as it might, the United States cannot dismiss the results of the election they’ve imposed on the Iraqi people, results that overwhelmingly support the United Iraqi Alliance, a Shia-dominated faction blessed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Most reports state that the Alliance received roughly 48 percent of the vote, while Allawi’s secular government garnered less than 15 percent.

Allawi’s subservience to his American benefactors is well known among the Iraqis. The Alliance’s platform was built on extricating American troops from their soil as soon as possible. That, in combination with Shia subjugation that has played a role in Iraqi politics since Saddam Hussein took power, created a groundswell of support. In a sense, it is democracy in action, it’s just not the kind of democracy George W. Bush wants.

Ironically, in his crusade to push for “democratic reform” of the Middle East, the president has plunged a secular nation into religious rule, the opposite of what the U.S. was hoping for, and closely allied Iraq with Iran. According to the Washington Post, Bush “envisioned a quick handover to handpicked allies in a secular government that would be the antithesis of Iran’s theocracy — potentially even a foil to Tehran’s regional ambitions.”

So what happens when you spend more than $300 billion on a regime change and you don’t get the outcome you were hoping for? Why, you do what any good despot does — rig the outcome.

Since that triumphant day in January when jingoists and politicians proclaimed that they had, in fact, not wasted billions of dollars and thousands of lives in pursuit of a fruitless dream, the American public has heard very little about the comings and goings in Iraq. Strange, considering the coup (no pun intended) Bush had pulled in getting the elections held in the first place (whether Iraqis even find the vote legitimate is another story).

But that’s by design. American media prefers to spend its energy on the money shots, not aftermath. It doesn’t hurt that the average American cares little for international politics; an Iraqi vote delay barely raises an eyebrow when there’s a new episode of “Lost” that week.

I have prevailed against the virtual silence regarding the vote count, the recount, the lost and corrupted ballot boxes, and the disenfranchisement of the religious minorities in Iraq (including Christians). Therefore, I will state this plainly: the United States is attempting to subvert the democratic process it paid so dearly for in Iraq. This is why the results are so marginalized in the American press.

The recount is not an attempt to guarantee the accuracy of the votes. It is merely a ploy to remove the majority the United Iraqi Alliance holds in the vote and “correct” the results so that they have only a plurality (less than 50 percent, but still a margin of victory). It’s impossible for the United States to wave away the vast turnout for the Shia-led coalition in favor of one of their plants, but the plurality is almost as effective as two-thirds majority is needed to form a government, preventing the Alliance from taking power. This not coincidentally allows other parties a chance at representation (not necessarily a bad thing).

With doubt set in motion, shills step in with misinformation. “Forty-eight percent is a victory but not an overwhelming one,” said Henner Fuertig, of the Hamburg-based German Institute for Middle East Studies, despite the fact that the second-place Kurdish party received less than half the votes of the Alliance. The abovementioned quote comes in an article where it’s stated that “Iraq may be run by a secular leader such as interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi… after a Shiite Muslim coalition failed to win a majority in the National Assembly election.”

“I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Allawi yet,” the piece concludes. Another article by Bloomberg reiterates that “a coalition administration may be formed around a secular figure such as interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.”

Why, pray tell, would the third place entrant in the election expect to hold any chance of wielding power in Iraq? It makes no sense until you factor in external influences like the United States trying to make sure their investment reaps dividends. How so? Having apparently already ignored the results, the United States has approached Chalabi (the Iranian double-agent that sold the invasion to Bush in the first place) about a position in the Iraqi Cabinet — before the results are even ratified!

Let me ask you this: what’s the point of invading a country under the guise of spreading freedom only to install our own puppet government when the oppressed Iraqis exercise their newfound liberty? Why continue to impress our opinions and beliefs on a country that voted for a party that despises our policies and presence? There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (and no, they weren’t shipped out to Iran or Syria or wherever else we’re thinking about invading next). Saddam Hussein has been in prison for over a year, yet the occupation and murder continues. The people of Iraq have made it abundantly clear we are not welcome. It’s time to accept the results of our demagoguery and bring everyone home.

Installing a leader to our liking will not help the situation — look no further than Hussein’s rule — nor will pretending that the will of the people of Iraq is unimportant. Fudging election results for Allawi beyond ridiculous. We were wrong. We screwed up a nation, and now we need to live with those mistakes.

Democracy may not exist in the United States, but for all the trouble we spent delivering it to Iraq, it shouldn’t be birthed stillborn.