When asked what he would do if Iraqi Elections led to an Islamic Fundamentalist government President Bush said yesterday:
“I will be disappointed. But democracy is democracy… If that’s what the people choose, that’s what the people choose.”
Wasn’t this war about spreading Freedom and Democracy in the Middle East? How many Islamic Fundamentalist states (Iran and Afghanistan being the most top-of-mine examples) do you know that supported a Democratic process, human rights, or free speech?
This is simply further proof that, as with most preemptive, aggressive wars in the past. It was not done on defensive or humanitarian grounds, but rather to increase the USs’ power and influence in that region of the world.
This is another demonstration of the world leaders’ (note I said World, not only US) knack for ignoring human suffering and abuse of human rights when it suits their economic and political needs. It has probably been going on since the dawn of humanity, but that doesn’t make it any more right.
So, what the US has effectively done is invaded a country in the *hope* that the resulting government would be more friendly to them than Saddam was in the past. That outcome is by no means certain and the current state of affairs in Iraq leads one to believe that that possibility is waning.
If you need more proof of US influence in the area you need only look to its neighbours. Jordan, one of the most moderate Muslim nations, supported the US in return for huge economic aid. This was against the will of its’ people, but we haven’t heard that opposition mainly because Jordanians are prosecuted severely for speaking out against their government and King. Jordan had actually been making many democratic reforms in the early 90s but then halted and has been slowly going backwards for nearly a decade. All the while supported by the US.
Saudi Arabia (the Kingdom of Saud) is another fine example where a major US ally is again severely limiting its’ citizens in both participating democratically and enjoying basic human rights and freedoms.
So while we can not turn back the clock, nor can we look into the future, we must take note of what has transpired over the past few years. Is Iraq better off now than it was before the Invasion? Was the devil we Knew better than the devil we might know?
Many questions are still to be answered.. for now I just hope the American public can take this all in and decipher what they feel is right. They’ve been sold on spreading democracy and freedom around the world. What do they do when that promise turns out to be the opposite?