Democracy Is a Sometimes Thing

I have been careful not to say that anyone ever lied about  any of this Iraq business in the Bush Administration or nearby in the "Bushes" (as the Rev would say).  I have done so becasue I do not KNOW that they did, and because I think that a massively delusive disconnect fom reality is the more likely explanation for their statements.

Politically, some of these statements are interesting, as are the boringly easy way that they are "taken up" by the press and repeated over and over ad nauseam.  Perhaps you remember the "mantra" before the January election. "Iraq’s first ever democratic election." was the "drift."  Interesting statement this, because Iraqis voted in parliamentary elections for the Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul when they were part of the empire and then voted for 35 years more or less for parliamentary representatives under the Hashemite Constitution from the twenties to the late fifties.  the press finally "tumbled" to the truth in this matter and began saying that it was the first democratic election "in 35 years," but it took a while.  Was all this a deliberate falsehood?  I don’t know and so will not say so, besides, as I said before, self delusion and group-think are satisfactory explanations.

Now we have adiminstration spokespersons like Dr. Rice making peripatetic appearances on the Sunday Newsies to tell us that the government produced by these last elections will be the only constitutional and democratic government in the Arab and Islamic Worlds.


If that is so, then why were we so thrilled with the prospects of elections in Iran a while back?  Why did Rice and K. Hughes spend so much time in Egypt seeking to influence the process there in the recent election?  If the process was seen to be utterly corrupt and without merit as an exercise in Democracy then why did we lend credence to it by participating in the grand "dog and pony show" which preceded the election.  What’s the deal?  It seems that we only complain of election processes when the results are not what "we" want.

We claim to have friends among the govenments and politicians of the Middle East.  We went to a lot of trouble to advance the cause advocated by Saad Hariri in Lebanon in their last parliamentary election.  We also seem to be fairly happy with the result.  Do we not believe that the election was constitutional and democratic and that the government that resulted was legitimate.  If we do not, then we are sponsors of an undemocratic government.

What about Jordan.  King Abdullah’s little country has a parliament.  It has two houses and at times in the past members have been elected who did not please the king in their politics.  When will we begin to harass the Hashemite Kingdom with acusations of tyranny and illegitimacy?  Never, I hope.

Hypocrisy?  You bet.

Pat Lang

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Democracy Is a Sometimes Thing

  1. Some Guy says:

    This hypocritical delusion also enables the Bushites to declare any nation an enemy of freedom that does not meet their definition of the moment regarding Democracy. Just like POW’s/enemy combatants. Its a democracy when they say it is, and if they think it is not, then its a problem.
    I would add that the delusion seems quite hysterical. The painfully contorted defenses of illegal domestic spying strike me as a sign of reactionary hysteria. Bush could have gotten the warrants he wanted if the suspects were reasonably connected to terror groups. The assumption the FISA court needed bypassed is irrational, to say the least.

  2. Sonoma says:

    “..I think that a massively delusive disconnect from reality is the more likely explanation for their statements”.
    I couldn’t disagree any more.
    The Bushite pissants are fully aware that their actions fly in the face of reality. Rather, they comprehend the irrefutable, but believe their willpower alone can superimpose itself upon it.
    There is more that a bit of a Superman mentality exposed in their every action, and their arrogance is exceeded only by their incompetence. They are are not merely reckless fools, but wicked in their recklessness.
    And we have, thus far, proved a nation of fools by continuing to support them.

  3. larry birnbaum says:

    I’m not sure that a certain amount of hypocrisy is incompatible with an effective or even a progressive US foreign policy. It might even be necessary in some instances. How much of a problem is the admin’s hypocrisy vis a vis democratic governance in the Middle East? How much does it impact our ability to set reasonable objectives and achieve them?
    This is not to support the admin’s policies or the processes (if they can even be called that) by which they arrived at those policies. The historical ignorance you describe is astounding, and scary.
    By the way I’ve found your web site to be incredibly informative and interesting!

  4. Peter vE says:

    The Bush administration’s approach to democracy was clarified for me by their glee at the coup d’etat against Hugo Chavez in Venezuala.
    By jumping in on the side of the plotters, they managed to, first: ensure that Chavez would be mad at them were he to regain power; second: demonstrate that they preferred a potentially servile autocrat to an independant democraticly elected leader; third: demonstrate that they couldn’t determine winners from losers.

  5. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Very interesting. I am looking to jump start discussion like yours.
    Merry Christmas

  6. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I don’t blame you. I am just being civil. It gets me in trouble. Something like opening doors for women who resent it. As Sergeant Warden said, it isn’t about them.

  7. Happy Jack says:

    Incompetence, or deliberate? Hard to tell.
    Bremer seemed clueless as to why Sistani wouldn’t meet with him. You’d think someone would have researched past behavior of Shite clerics to occupation.
    On the otherhand, if you believe in reverse-dominoes and democracy, you wouldn’t want to undercut your argument. Lebanon’s history would have provided an example for its neighbors to follow.
    Egypt had some history with this. Of course, during this time they also saw the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    I think Iran had some experience in the 50’s, but I don’t recall what soured that experiment.
    And don’t forget Algeria’s elections.

  8. Patrick Henry says:

    Pat..Im sorry for taking up so much space lately..but you seem to be tolerate of those of us who have nothing better to do on Rainy Days..
    I just want to Add that I think President. Bush doesn’t get it when it Comes to People Asking him the Hard Questions and Wanting to know Why..
    Thats the American Way..Mr. President..Its Our Right..
    Up to 60% of the People either dont Trust YOU..or Believe You..
    Outside Your Party and Your are not.well liked or Trusted….and Have Not Earned OUR Trust..
    All That is based on your Actions..Attitude and policy..
    We do not see you as Moses..coming down off the Mountains with the Tablets..and Captain AMERICA..Rolled into One..
    There is nothing to indicate that you were Suddenly and Divinely Appointed by GOD to Save the World..or the United States..
    TELLING us its so..just Doesn’t cut it for the American People..
    TRUST..Has to Be Earned Mr. President..
    RESPECT..Has to Be Earned..
    LEADERSHIP..Has to be demonstrated..
    People automatically know it when they see it..
    If you dont Trust your own party..The Constitutional Protections..and The lEGAL PROCESS.. orThe Congress and Its Represenatives of the People..or the People Themselfs..
    or the FISA Court..for Due Process..Probable Cause do what you are doing…
    Then how can anyone TRUST YOU…???

  9. BadTux says:

    Ah yes, Iran’s little experience in the 1950’s. Do a little Google search for “iran mosaddeq” and you’ll see what exactly happened to Iran’s previous experience with democracy. Seems it got derailed by a US-backed army coup that then re-installed the Shah as absolute ruler. To be fair, Mosaddeq was hardly a democrat himself, given that he eventually assumed “emergency powers” and dissolved Parliament. On the other hand, the result of the coup was hardly what any “democracy-loving” person (or nation) would ever want — a totalitarian dictatorship that grew increasingly harsh with time until it finally disintegrated and was replaced by a bunch of religious zealots.
    – Badtux the History Penguin

  10. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Bad Tux,
    first of all, I don’t believe it. I mean about the bad tux. Back from exile?
    I agree with all of that except that in the context of the Middle East I don’t think the Shah was all that bad.
    I mean, look at the rest of them. pl

  11. BadTux says:

    I agree that realpolitik says that the Shah wasn’t so bad, considering the alternatives (a Communist-dominated democracy that hates America in the context of the Mossadeq regime, or an Islamist democracy that hates America, if we use Iraq as an example). I was just pointing out that, if you’re purporting to be a lover of democracy and freedom, removing one guy on his way to being a dictator in order to install another dictator isn’t exactly goin’ in a positive direction.
    As for the “back from exile” bit, nope, couldn’t get back to Louisiana. I was hoping to be back by Christmas, but things are seriously FUBAR there, and nobody outside Louisiana seems to give a **** that a major American city and 2/3rds of the Louisiana economy have basically been written off by the national government. I mentioned the other day that they were still finding bodies in the ruins, and co-workers were shocked, “I thought they’d already cleaned all that up? Aren’t they doing any reconstruction yet?” I had to gently break it to them that the only “reconstruction” going on was to Halliburton’s pocketbook — the stench, the piles of rotting garbage, the body-strewn rubble, it’s all just sitting there, with nobody doing anything about it because the city is bankrupt, the state is bankrupt, and the federal government doesn’t give a ****.

Comments are closed.