Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

December 20, 2005

Fast food democracy

There are now triumphal murmurings emanating from the crusader headquarters in Washington and London. The last few attempts at installing some of the trappings of democracy in Iraq have been catastrophic failures. However last Thursday's election, with its estimated 70% turnout, has been hailed as a major success. So in some quarters there is an assumption that a high turn out at the polls and relatively (considering it is a war zone) low violence is equated with normality and stability. This is not the case. Normality has not prevailed for nearly a century in the region. Stability has not been seen since the invasion and occupation in 2003.

The pre-election period was far from any form of normality in every respect. Politically there were assassinations, party headquarters burned, and abductions. These were all largely unreported by Western corporate media. The former Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi said, on the record, that human rights in President George W Bush's Iraq are worse than they were under Saddam. The PM at the time of the elections, Ibrahim Jaafari's accused Allawi of defending the occupiers, whist Allawi accused Jaafari's government of corruption. Then there was Ahmad Chalabi's, campaign posters which boasted, "We liberated Iraq." The whole state of affairs is farcical. However, the stark reality of it all reveals that there is no lighter side to this situation.

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