Can We Produce Peace & Democracy in Iraq?

POSTED: 18 Jan 2004 10:00pm

Tom Tomorrow cartoon of 8/11/2003 illustating how we got intelligence on Iraq.

Bad Intelligence - Bad Decisions
Originally, President Bush justified the war on Iraq because Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons, was developing nuclear weapons, and was willing to use them. Bush said Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda and posed a terrorist threat to the United States. The President claimed that we must depose Saddam, dismantle the weapons, and establish democracy.

Well, they never found any weapons of mass destruction, and it turns out they never had the alleged “proof” they claimed to have. As for Al Qaeda, Colin Powell has admitted that “I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection” between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. We have deposed Hussein, but establishing democracy is another matter.

A Religious Agenda - Ours
After all Bush’s proselytizing about democracy, he has refused to allow free elections in Iraq. The system we have imposed has the U.S. hand picking an Iraqi Governing Council. Then our boys in the Governing Council would appoint electors from the provinces. This Governing Council is not representative of Iraq’s population, which is primarily Shiite Moslem. In fact, many of them are thugs from Saddam’s old Bathe Party. Heaven forbid that self-determination in Iraq might result in a Shiite Moslem affiliated government.

Isn’t it ironic that while Bush refuses to allow any religious influence on government in Iraq, he is pushing a domestic agenda that throws out separation of church and state here at home? He has strongly advocated prayer in public schools and the channeling of government funding to religious organizations that would provide social welfare programs and operate parochial schools.

A Way Out for George
The United Nations is the logical authority to oversee free elections and to help rebuild Iraq. Bush has asked the U.N. to supply troops, but has refused to give up any military, governmental, or economic control of Iraq.

The alternatives are grim if the U.S. insists on staying in sole control of Iraq's oil and doesn't want the embarassment of an Islamic Fundamentalist victory in true democratic elections. The US becomes an increasingly hated occupying force which begets more violence and terrorism or Bush installs a puppet government sponsored by the U.S. which does not represent the Iraqi people.

The people of the United States need to send a strong message to Bush and Congress calling for transfer of authority in Iraq to the United Nations. Our troops and military technology can be offered to the UN to help with Peacekeeping. Only this international authority can guarantee a peaceful and equitable transfer of power back to the Iraqi people, and help them to begin to rebuild their country.


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