The Iraq Election: An Assessment
Actually, I don’t think that sound in the distance is the shuddering of autocrats. And I’m pretty sure we aren’t hearing the faint cry of freedom, democracy, and constitutionalism being birthed in Baghdad. No, on the contrary, what you hear is screeching and sputtering nonsense emanating from practically every orifice of the American body politic. The lackeys and lickspittles of the media elite are virtually unanimous in their full-throated acclaim for the latest episode in civilization building otherwise known as the Iraqi elections.
Over at the NY Times, John Burns provided a glimpse of the hard-hitting tone that would imbue the paper’s coverage of the election: “On Sunday, everything about the voting resonated with a passion for self-expression, individuals set on their own choices, prepared to walk long distances through streets choked with military checkpoints, and to stand for hours in line to cast their ballots.”
Meanwhile, the Washington Post editorialized that, “The majority of Iraqis support the emerging democratic order in their country, and many are willing to risk their lives for it.” According to the Post, Iraqi “votes were an act of courage and faith -- and an answer to the question of whether the mission in Iraq remains a just cause.“ I hadn’t realized that we went to war in Iraq to ensure that two years later there would be a “free and fair” election. Can someone ask Richard Land if that’s a causus belli? Ah, nevermind.
Nearly as ludicrous as the Post editorial page were the scribblings on the newspage where CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) bigwig Walter Russell Mead offered up this assessment: “It was a big, climactic moment in history, which this clearly was because it had a lot of dramatic consequences and will be unfolding for many years. Certainly at this point, you have to say that the Bush administration's critics have made as many mistakes as the Bush administration in assessing Iraq."
Is he joking? Originally, the administration had no plans to hold an election. Indeed, Iraq was to remain under occupation until a constitution was written. However, last June the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq's most influential Shiite Muslim cleric, issued a fatwa calling for general elections to select the drafters of the constitution.
In the face of Sistani's criticism and rising casualties, Paul Bremer devised plans for a caucus-style election that was to be limited to political, religious, tribal, academic and trade union leaders as well as other influential local figures approved by the Americans. From the caucuses, the drafters of the constitution were to be selected.
Sistani opposed the caucus plan and engineered huge protests provoking and ultimately winning the showdown with the administration. Sistani's victory secured a democratic election that will likely produce a Shiite theocracy closely aligned with Iran, the nation identified by the State Department as the chief sponsor of terror.
As with the mindless intervention in the Balkans, American military might has been used to create an Islamic republic, imperiling the security of our country and the lives of our Christian brethren. That leaders of the American right claim the election represents a triumph of American values shows how corrupt "conservatism" has become. They've traded in Washington, Adams, and Jefferson for Robespierre.