Left Out Liberal

A left-wing/liberal look at the UK's General Election of 2005.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Iraq Election Results

So we should all celebrate now that Iraq has the results for its constituent assembly. The lapdog media presents the whole thing, as usual, as the final stage in the process. The end of the problems and the beginning of the new Iraq.

I'd like it if it was true. We do ourselves no favours by deluding ourselves into thinking that the hard part of the journey is over. We must always remember that it is only just beginning. Since we've ruined Iraq, it would at least be worthwhile if we could get something out of this whole process, and so I'm as enthusiastic to see democracy in Iraq as anyone. But we must realise that what we've had so far is not true democracy. Most people didn't know who the candidates were. There was little in the sense of real campaigning. Most people didn't even know where they were going to be able to vote. Not to mention that a significant minority of the country didn't vote at all as they felt the process has no legitimacy.

So don't kid yourself. It's not a real election. It's the best we'll get at the moment, but don't assume it has produced a representative, democratic Iraq.

It says a lot, however, that the US-appointed Iyad Allawi's list seems to have floundered into 3rd place. The Iraqis voted for candidates who had as little connection with the US regime as possible. They want us out as soon as is feasible. We want to do exactly the same thing. But the Iraqis are not keen on anyone who may take actions to prolong that, and so Allawi suffered.

I found it amusing yesterday when "Uncle Don" Rumsfeld had the cheek to complain to Europe that one nation could not defeat extremism alone. Yet, isn't that what we were telling them before the Iraq war?

The Shia have elected candidates who move them closer to a religious state. This would be unacceptable to the Americans. So the US is going to be careful in getting a Constitution drafted that would ensure a conversion to an Iranian-style theocratic state is not possible. Yet, it's probably what most of the Shia want. Democracy is a fickle thing.

Iraq will continue to be an issue, and I hope that people will not forget the lies, spin and persistent wriggling that Blair has done ever since the Iraq issue was first raised. Much as we like to praise ourselves for bringing democracy to Iraq, it was never the aim in the first place. Some argue it should have been, but the politicians only started to bring this one into the picture when the other justifications of terrorism and WMDs disappeared.

Blair is going to try to bury this one. We can't afford to let him.


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