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Beware the Iraq Election Blowback

 

With Iowa just having dramatically demonstrated to us the unpredictability of the democratic process, you start to understand what’s motivating all those Shiite demonstrators in Iraq.

They see how Bush and his viceroy, L. Paul Bremer, and their handpicked quisling officials in the provisional authority, are trying to rig the summer “sovereignty” exercise by running elections through open ballot caucuses, and are demanding instead an election by universal suffrage.

Of course, if there were a real open one-person, one-vote election in Iraq, odds are that the outcome would be a government that would promptly demand that the U.S. pull out, immediately, lock, stock and barrel.

That’s why Bremer is running back and forth between his Baghdad palace and Washington, and inviting in the U.N., trying to come up with some kind of a scheme in which the government could be somehow elected, but would have to agree in advance not to order the U.S. to leave.
Some kinda “sovereignty!”

I checked my dictionary, and the definition of the term sovereignty was “supreme and unrestricted power.” That’s pretty unambiguous wording.

Clearly if you have a government, but it can’t tell an occupying army to scram, you don’t have a sovereign government.

Although the corporate media is still content to repeat uncritically the White House’s use of the term sovereignty, the dictionary definition of the word is rather hard to get around, and it makes a joke of the so called “handover of sovereignty” being planned by Washington for Iraq for this June or July. In fact, contemplating Iraq’s future administration, the term “puppet government” comes most readily to mind. My dictionary defines that as “a state that appears independent but is controlled by another.”

At least in Hong Kong, when they talked about the handover of sovereignty in 1997, the British and the Chinese didn’t play games. Everyone knew were talking about handing the sovereignty over Hong Kong from the British to the Chinese, not a handover of sovereignty to the people of Hong Kong.

In the current instance, what we’re talking about is the handover of sovereignty in Iraq from the U.S. to…the U.S.

No wonder tens of thousands of angry people are marching in the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities demanding a real election.

What they need to remember, though, is that we have a president here in the Land of the Free and the Brave who has every reason to fear such a process, not just in Iraq, but at home in America.

Bush knows he himself would not be president today if the U.S. presidential election in 2000 had been conducted by universal suffrage rules. He lost the popular election by over half a million votes.

No wonder he favors a rigged system in Iraq.

Meanwhile, beware the blowback of American imperialist election fraud overseas.

The same folks who are busy trying to limit, restrict and manipulate the operation of democracy in Iraq, such as it is, are also busy here at home trying to do the same thing.

While the Democrats busily play the preliminary game of democracy in the primaries, the Bush election juggernaut is hard at work rigging the real game that will be played next November.

Hence the gerrymandering of congressional districts in key states like Pennsylvania and Texas, which will virtually ensure that the next congress will be Republican, whoever is president. Hence the effort to pack as many conservatives onto federal and state benches as possible before then. And hence the push to get all states to buy into electronic voting, which will mean using computers made by companies owned and run by Republican campaign backers, which are demonstrably easy to hack and cheat with, and which leave no paper trial.

Americans, and the Democratic presidential candidate, whomever he may be come next July, should watch Iraq carefully this spring and early summer. It may indeed turn out to be a dry run for the November election here in the U.S. Watch for massive fraud, courtesy of the likes of Diebold Corp’s voting machines, and the mysterious disenfranchisement of a majority of the Shiite electorate.

What, by the way, do you call a democracy where the people no longer have sovereignty?

My dictionary suggests the term dictatorship: “a system of government where the ruler is not bound by a constitution or laws.”

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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