April 09, 2003
Free at last?

So, after twelve years of sanctions that kept Saddam Hussein in power by giving him the ability to decide who starves and who lives, the US has liberated Iraq. That, after a decade of shamelessly supporting the dictator through to worst of his atrocities.

Now that Iraqis will have freedom of speech and the press (they will, right?), it seems to me that the most useful thing that people in the US who want Iraq to be a real democracy can do is: shut up and listen. I include myself among the people who should do this: if democracy will happen, it will come from the people of Iraq, and nowhere else.

From my standpoint, the most important priority (besides providing food and water) is to make sure that voices from Iraq--particularly those not on the US payroll--get heard as widely as possible. That will make it possible to help create a democracy in Iraq.

As it stands, actual democracy in Iraq would mean a vast Kurdish and Shi'ite majority, which means stronger ties with Iran, and a threat to Saudi Arabia and Turkey. In other words: the US is not likely to let that happen. There is no precedent that suggests democracy as an outcome, as long as the US (much less Bush) has control.

This, in turn, means that anyone (pro- or anti-war) who has the well-being of the Iraqi people in mind will listen to Iraq, and watch the Bush administration very closely.

Actually, anyone in the press watching the Bush administration with something other than drooling adulation would be a good start. I won't even mention the Democrats. It's not as though they're being subtle about using Iraq as a way to convert taxpayer's money into corporate profits.

And there's this: StopJayGarner.com

posted by dru in war