Iraq looks set to splinter in three, with religious groups dominating the government(s). It will be pro-Iran, anti-Israel and anti-US. It will not be anything Westerners would recognise as a Democracy. Ironically, however, that appears to be what the people of Iraq want (and after all, it is their country). Unfortunately, Iraq will also remain wracked by violence for the foreseeable future, while groups jockey for power and demands for US withdrawal grow.
The Independent has some good analysis:
The election marks the final shipwreck of American and British hopes of establishing a pro-Western secular democracy in a united Iraq.RJ Eskrow says Iraq has become the very model of a Red State:
An election driven by religion. A deeply polarized electorate. Disputed voting results, where the only question is whether the fraud was small-scale or massive. Yes, we have succeeded in exporting American-style democracy to Iraq. The question of whether it was worth it has been answered - with a solid "no" - by the American people, but they lack leaders who will speak for them. You get the democracy you pay for.Juan Cole says (just quietly) I told you so.
The mission of "exporting democracy" to Iraq had four key goals:
1. To create a US-friendly nation in the region
2. To build a working model of democracy as the neocons conceived it for the Middle East
3. To provide Israel with an ally in the Arab world (which Chalabi had promised to deliver)
4. To isolate Iran from the Arab world
What have we gotten instead, for the massive loss of American and Iraqi life and the hundreds of billions of dollars spent so far?
1. A country where 82% of the population "strongly opposes" our presence and 45% support armed attacks against US troops
2. A highly conservative, religiously-based electorate that's a far cry from the neocon vision of liberal democracy
3. A country that appears to be drawing closer and closer to Israel's enemies
4. A new ally and sister country to Iran, with similar religious and political beliefs.
Omar and Mohammed at Iraq The Model call the election results "shocking" and "disturbing". Quite an understandable reaction given how vociferously they have baracked for their US invaders. Mind you, there are rumours suggesting that the "brothers" are no longer even living in Iraq and have not been living there for some time.
Not surprisingly, the ITM comments section is also a lot more downbeat these days. One wag mocked how ITM readers are aghast at the thought of religion influencing Iraqi politics, yet are all for it in the USA. Other than that, there was just the usual hollow sound of a hot breeze blowing across a desert of empty minds...
Why can't everyone in Iraq just get along? WHY!??!?!!??!???!???!?!?!??!?!
Dave From Chicago | Email | Homepage | 12.21.05 - 7:53 pm | #