by Eric Margolis
Will today's elections for 7,785 unknown candidates in violence-racked Iraq
mark the dawn of genuine Mideast democracy, as U.S. President George W. Bush
claims, or be another step deeper into the bloody quagmire in Mesopotamia?
First, no election held under a foreign military occupation resulting from
an unjustified war is legal under international law. During the Cold War,
elections staged by the Soviets after invading Afghanistan, Hungary and
Czechoslovakia were rightly denounced by the U.S. as "frauds" and the
leaders elected as "stooges."
Second, Shiites, excluded from political power since Britain created Iraq in
1921, will win since they represent 60% of the population. Shiite Grand
Ayatollah Ali Sistani issued a fatwa, or religious decree, ordering the
faithful to vote for the Shiites' coalitions.
Sistani made what some see as a pact with the devil. He is abetting at least
temporary U.S. occupation and exploitation of oil-rich Iraq in exchange for
Washington handing power to his fellow "good" Shiites -- not to be confused
with Iran's "bad" Shiites, who are facing U.S.-Israeli attack. "Good"
Shiites don't sport turbans; they sideline clerics and avoid angry Islamic
Iraq's pro-U.S. Kurds will elect their own coalitions determined to keep
their oil revenues and create a state independent in all but name.
Sunnis have lost all the power and perks they previously enjoyed, they lead
resistance against U.S. Occupation They will be the odd men out, at the
mercy of the hated Shiites, a sect long persecuted by mainstream Sunni
Muslims as dangerous heretics and fanatics.
Third, the U.S.-"guided" regime emerging from the vote will be one of form
without much substance, unless a new Shiite regime revolts and asserts its
For now, Iraq's real government will continue to be the U.S. Embassy in
Baghdad, the world's largest, and 150,000 U.S. Occupation troops.
Every important Iraqi ministry is run by U.S. "advisers" who call the shots
and allocate all spending. Power comes from guns and money. The U.S.
controls and pays Iraq's low-morale police and native troops who, in a
nation with 70% unemployment, mostly serve to feed families. . . .
"Democracy and Islam"
"Election Rigging in Afghanistan and
Iraq," The Wisdom Fund, September 28, 2004
"Iraqis' big issue: US exit plan," The Wisdom
Fund, January 23, 2005
[. . . it will establish Shia power in Iraq - and in the wider Arab world -
for the first time since the great split between Sunnis and Shias that
followed the death of the Prophet Muhammad.--Robert Fisk, "This Election Will
Change the World. But Not in the Way the Americans Imagined,"
Independent, January 29, 2005]
Dahr Jamail, "Some
Just Voted for Food," Inter Press Service, January 31, 2005
Robert Fisk, "Iraqis
Voting for 'Freedom From Foreign Occupation'," Democracynow.org,
January 31, 2005
[The people of Iraq were not given the opportunity to vote against the
occupation - they were allowed to vote for anonymous lists, representing
U.S.-approved candidates that will not have the power to alter U.S. plans to
Election in Iraq," International Action Center, January 31, 2005]
[On September 4 1967 the New York Times published . . . "US encouraged by
Vietnam vote: Officials cite 83% turnout despite Vietcong terror" . . . The
facts on the ground, including the construction of massive military bases in
Iraq, indicate that the US is digging in to install and back a long-term
puppet regime.--Sami Ramadani, "The
Vietnam turnout was good as well: No amount of spin can conceal Iraqis'
hostility to US occupation," Guardian, February 1, 2005]
group challenges legitimacy of Iraqi vote," CNN.com, February 2, 2005
Greg Mitchell, "Officials Back Away from Early Estimates of
Iraqi Voter Turnout," editorandpublisher.com, February 2, 2005
[Iraqi Finance Minister Abdel Mahdi . . . is proposing to privatize Iraq's
oil and put it into American corporate hands.--Dahr Jamail, "What They're Not
Telling You About The 'Election'," Dahrjamailiraq.com, February 2, 2005]
[Sunni Arab and anti-occupation groups have insisted on a timetable for a
U.S. withdrawal. U.S. and Iraqi officials, including Abdel-Mehdi, have
argued against a timetable--Anthony Shadid and Doug Struck, "Top
Shiite Welcomes Overtures By Sunnis," Washington Post, February 6, 2005]
[This most recent variant of "democracy promotion" has now been applied in
Afghanistan and Iraq, . . . Create a new elite, give it funds and weaponry
to build a new army and let them make the country safe for the
corporations.--Tariq Ali, "Out with the old, in with the new: The
Iraqi elections were designed not to preserve the unity of Iraq but to
re-establish the unity of the west," Guardian, February 7, 2005]
[Now it seems that two years of bloodshed, bribery and backroom arm-twisting
were leading up to this: a deal in which the ayatollahs get control over the
family, Texaco gets the oil, and Washington gets its enduring military bases
(call it the "oil for women program"). Everyone wins except the voters, who
risked their lives to cast their ballots for a very different set of
policies.--Naomi Klein, "Getting the
Purple Finger," The Nation, February 28, 2005]
[A turnout of 8.45 million votes - or about 59 percent turnout of 14.2
million eligible voters, according to new figures given Sunday - was low for
a transitional election, and reflected wartime conditions and a boycott by
many Sunnis.--Dan Murphy, "Shiite Islamists
to shape new Iraq," Christian Science Monitor, February 14, 2005]
John Pilger, "The Struggle
for Memory in Free Societies," New Statesman, February 18, 2005
[U.S. authorities in Iraq had manipulated the results in order to reduce the
percentage of the vote received by the United Iraqi Alliance from 56% to
48%.--Mark Jensen, "SCOTT RITTER SAYS U.S.
'COOKED' JAN. 30 IRAQI ELECTION RESULTS," United for Peace of Pierce
County, February 19, 2005]
[Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who would be the first Shia to be in charge of the
Iraqi government, confounded his critics by saying that his country could
not maintain order without the help of foreign soldiers.--Oliver Poole, "Allies must not leave yet, says
Iraq leader," The Telegraph, February 21, 2005]
[For the princely fee of $427 million, RTI implemented a policy they called
(and this is not a joke) "selections not elections." They would invite
everyone in a particular community to attend a meeting. At the meeting, the
company would pick the new government, making sure to reserve a specific
number of seats to Iraqis from each of the country's major ethnic and
religious groups Ð Sunni Arab, Shia Arab, Turkmen, Kurd, and
Assyrian/Chaldean Christian.--Aaron Glantz, "The Only Hope to Avert
Civil War," Antiwar.com, June 10, 2005]