As someone who was opposed to the most recent invasion of Iraq, I've been watching its aftermath with interest, to see if I was right. This is the way in which I try to be open-minded; continuously re-evaluating my opinions and beliefs in light of what seem to be facts; trying to recognize, as The Dude might say, when my thinking about this case has become very uptight.
Many people "on my side" of this line in the sand have said that although they were initially opposed to the invasion, they are now glad to see the Iraqi people liberated and safe from the murderous threat of Saddam Hussein. This is a very pragmatic position. I'd like to agree with it. Watching the way things are developing, however, I am beginning to believe that this may only be a temporary respite for the Iraqi people. Democracy is probably a good thing. But we don't have democracy here in the United States, and we're not building it over there in Iraq.
I think many people are under the impression that we are organizing elections in Iraq, so that the Iraqi people can choose their own leaders. This is not the case. This week, we appointed a twenty-five member group to run the country. We being the United States military. Many of these people have not lived in Iraq for a number of years. They were appointed because of their affiliation with various exile groups.
People have also been kicked out of the new club due to their religious affiliations. It is ironic that the United States government, which was founded by people seeking to escape religious persecution and eliminate religious discrimination, has now imposed a government on another country using religion as a criterion for who may and may not hold office.
The people appointed have been appointed because their position at the intersection of various characteristics has brought them to the attention of the powers-that-be. Money and status are an important part of this profile, making this a new class of elites, something else that our own founders were opposed to.
The idea that we are now handing freedom to Iraqis in the form of democracy is thus a complete charade. We may do a better job of keeping them alive than Hussein did, but we show no intentions of allowing them to vote for, or more importantly, to be their own leaders.
Do the benefits of staying alive outweigh this? Quite possibly. The question is who gets to make that decision. The people who founded the first United States government made the opposite decision; that freedoms were worth dying for. In the context of this history, we should not be so paternalistic as to assume that because we have eliminated one scourge, what we are now doing is automatically right.
Here, people won't even tolerate having school board officials appointed by the state. So how can we stomach the appointment and imposition of a new Iraqi government?
Stay tuned for future profiles of who has been chosen to run the Iraq government. I can't claim any insider information, this is no drudgery report, but I'll collect all of the details that I can. Leave any relevant tips here in the comment box.