Jacob Levich on Democracy in Iraq

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue May 13 12:37:07 MDT 2003


Counterpunch, May 13, 2003

Democracy Comes to Iraq
Kick Their Ass and Take Their Gas
By JACOB LEVICH

One month after the fall of Baghdad, the US has successfully liberated
the people of Iraq from meaningful involvement in decisions about their
own future.

A designer regime, concocted behind closed doors by Pentagon and State
Department planners, is now being imposed on Iraq with great speed and
without any kind of popular consent. Iraq's nascent "democratic
transition government" is window-dressing for a military dictatorship
charged with insuring that US policy goals -- especially the disposition
of Iraq's vast petroleum reserves -- are protected from any troublesome
outbreaks of democracy.

As journalist Naomi Klein recognized weeks ago, the Iraqi people will
not be granted authority until fundamental and probably irrevocable
features of the New Iraq are locked in place.

The essentials of the US blueprint for post-invasion Iraq were known to
legislators by February 2003, when Undersecretary of State Douglas Feith
outlined administration policy goals in testimony before the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee. Feith drew on months of planning by a White
House committee chaired by Iran-Contra perjurer Elliott Abrams, as well
as input from Establishment intellectuals and a series of closed-door
meetings sponsored by the State Department's "Future of Iraq" program.

Further details of the blueprint were disclosed early this year to key
Iraqi expatriates like White House favorite Ahmad Chalabi, the career
dissident and convicted felon who is Bush's man in Baghdad. The
highhandedness of US plans alarmed even Chalabi, who partially
summarized them in a February 19 Wall Street Journal op-ed:

"[T]he plan ... calls for an American military governor to rule Iraq for
up to two years. ... The occupation authorities would appoint a
'consultative council' of handpicked Iraqis with non-executive powers
and unspecified authority, serving at the pleasure of the American
governor. The occupation authorities would also appoint a committee to
draft a constitution for Iraq. After an unspecified period, indirect
elections would be held for a 'constituent assembly' that would vote to
ratify the new constitution without a popular referendum."

At no point in this democratic transition, it should be noted, will the
Iraqi people actually be permitted to vote.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/levich05132003.html

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