Thursday, March 03, 2005

How Can a Car Wreck Be A Good Thing?

The CBC jumped on the bandwagon this morning. Which one? The "Hey, it looks like George W Bush was right. Democracy is breaking out all over." bandwagon.

At least the CBC is asking it as a question ie/ "Was George Bush right?"

Let me tell you, completely and unequivocally, no he was not right. If we accept that Dubya got it right and he was justified invading Iraq because of the recent elections and the wave of democracy breaking out in Iraq, Lebanon and possibly Egypt, then what we are saying is that the ends justify the means.

Democracy in the Middle East at this point, is a happy accident. Israel and the Palestinians can take full credit for their recent attempts at creating a stable democratic Palestinian authority. As for the rest of the region, the domino effect from Iraq is probably a good thing but, don't fool yourself into thinking that George Walker Bush & Co are political geniuses.

Colin Powell did not stand in front of the UN General Assembly and make the case for war in Iraq on the grounds of bringing democracy to a beleaguered populace. No, he stood in front of the UN and stated that the US had satellite evidence that Iraq possessed and was ready to use WMD's against the US and Iraq's neighbours. 3/4 of the world kind of shrugged and said "whatever" and off the US went. Bombing cafes, killing innocent people, sifting through sand and needlessly killing their own troops. Every other civilized nation in the world excluding Spain and England turned their backs on the "coalition of the willing" knowing full well that WMD's would never be found.

So, the Americans get to Iraq, find nothing in the desert except sand, sand, more sand and a couple of mobile power generators that maybe could have been used to provide power to a biological weapons lab, if they were in working order. Which they weren't; hadn't been for probably five years.

Needing another excuse they pull out al Queda (again) and go looking for ties between Saddam and Iraq. They didn't find any because the Middle East ties to al Queda all lead to the Saudis.

So, no WMD's, no ties to al Queda. What's next? Hmmmm let's get Saddam. Granted this was probably on the top of the list in the first place. Daddy Bush couldn't get him so Junior went in to save the day. Had this been the stated goal in the first place, we all probably would have gone along with it. However, the White House got all excited about WMDs and terrorists etc...

They got Saddam!!! Great. They had to drop a 2000 lb bomb on a cafe to get him - they missed him but killed a building full of people - but hey, finally they got him.

Shit. Into the void surges a fractured group of insurgents looking to totally disrupt the invasion, daily life in Iraq and grab power. What does the US do?...

PAUL BREMMER TO THE RESCUE. He's going to create democracy in Iraq. Which he does. Kind of. In the immortal words of Donald Rumsfeld "Well, it won't be a perfect election. But what election is ever perfect?" Oh the irony... Hey Donald, remember 2000 and Florida. You're right, who needs perfect elections.

Today, Iraq has a democratic government that is made up of predominantly Shiite Muslims and Kurds. "But trust us, we won't abuse our power and seek retribution." Sure. Just as I'm sure the US will turn a blind eye to it when it begins.

Democratic Iraq? it's probably a good thing in the long run. Yes, democracy will probably spread through the region. Look for hold outs in Syria and Lybia because their dictators are simply too string. As for the Monarchies... Oman, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, etc... don't count on democracy there any time soon. There's no way the ruling families will give up the power that comes from oil revenues. Democracy in Iran? Maybe. If the US brings it to them at the barrel of a gun like they did in Iraq.

The seed has been planted for a limited section of the Middle East. But, do not give credit where credit isn't due. A democratic happy accident in Iraq does not make George W Bush right. It makes him lucky.


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