Bush has exported his version of democracy to Iraq, complete with rigged elections, cronies counting the votes, and an absolute disregard for the will of the people.
The vote that took place on Oct. 15, was a vote of “yes” or “no” on the proposed Iraqi constitution. U.S.-appointed Iraqis wrote the proposed constitution. Asking the Iraqi people to vote on a constitution into which they had no input is a laughable form of democracy.
But it is, at least, U.S.-style democracy, complete with voter irregularities and more votes in favor of the constitution than registered voters in crucial precincts.
Could anyone seriously consider that the U.S. would not try to rig the vote?
Imagine the repercussions of the constitution being rejected. U.S. troops are supposed to stay “until the mission is finished,” whatever mission that is. Since we found no weapons of mass destruction, the mission they are ostensibly staying for is the forcible implementation of U.S.-style democracy.
Democracy will be in place once Iraqis are voting for their own representatives to govern themselves. They cannot do this until the details are outlined of how those officials will be elected, how long they will serve, what their powers will be, and so on. Those are the details outlined in the constitution.
Without the constitution, U.S. troops cannot make a graceful retreat and will continue getting killed there. At a moment of unprecedented low popularity, Bush needs the troops out of Iraq by this time next year, or his own party will suffer horribly in the 2006 elections, with or without the now-standard vote fraud.
The largest sticking point for U.S. interests is in the ratification of the constitution. U.S.-appointed cronies and oilmen have drafted a Constitution, and the people need to approve it, whether they want to or not.
In a response quoted in the New York Times, President Bush stated, “My first reaction to the vote was that the Iraqi people are strongly in favor of settling disputes in a peaceful way.”
Contrast this with the statement White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer made Oct. 15, 2002: "Obviously it’s not a very serious day, not a very serious vote and nobody places any credibility on it.”
Fleischer made the statement when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein held a national referendum in the country’s previous election. There was simply one question to vote on: should Saddam Hussein remain in power for the next seven years? He overwhelmingly won the referendum. Some patriots even signed their vote in blood. The vote was very serious to some Iraqis, and despite this step towards democracy, we invaded their country to remove Saddam.
Many find it hypocritical that the new rationale for the invasion and occupation of Iraq was to bring democracy to the country, because we stifled it immediately upon arriving. The oil fields needed to be secured, and local democratic governments could have kept some of the revenue to rebuild Iraqi cities rather than to line Halliburton’s pockets.
Lest we forget, Dick Cheney has 433,000 options of Halliburton stock. It is now worth $60 a share, which means that Cheney has $25 million invested in his former company. The value of those shares at the time of the invasion was a meager $8.6 million.
Ah, U.S.-style democracy: making oilmen richer and giving the proletarians the illusion of power. Before you know it, the Iraqis will have an obesity epidemic and no health care, just like us.