Saturday | June 28, 2003
Time for baby steps
"In a postwar situation like this, if you start holding elections, the people who are rejectionists tend to win," Bremer said. "It's often the best-organized who win, and the best-organized right now are the former Baathists and to some extent the Islamists." Bremer was referring to members of Hussein's Baath Party and religiously oriented political leaders.
Bremer and other U.S. officials are fearful that Islamic leaders such as Moqtada Sadr, a young Shiite Muslim cleric popular on the streets of Baghdad, and Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir Hakim, leader of the Iranian-supported Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, would be best positioned to field winning candidates
So, no elections until you get the right puppet government. Instead, we appoint Iraqi generals and colonels to run these cities.
How long will it take until the Shia clerics pick up their weapons and give the order for an uprising?
As Fitzroy Maclean, Tito's former British military aide, once said when asked if minded helping communists. "I'm not planning to live in Yugoslavia after the war, are you?"
Why do we care who takes over in a democratic election?
Because the neocons have to have their fantasy pro-Israeli government and that isn't on the agenda in a government split between Hakim and Sadr.
The racism inherent in many US dealings with Arabs shine through. The Iraqis need "baby steps" to reach democracy. Well, no, they're not children. They can fumble their way to democracy like everyone else. The assumption of Arab incompetance and perfidery is ingrained in US dealing with Iraq. We assume they cannot manage themselves and that they are not like us. They they should be grateful for US help and reject their own, flawed culture for western enlightenment.
The problem is that men like Sadr and Hakim are educated. They are no one's children or fools. They know the West and what it offers. As long as we treat them as people to be maniuplated and ordered around, more "mysterious" shootings of American troops in Shia areas will continue.
Steve GilliardPosted June 28, 2003 03:26 PM | Comments (99)