Ever since Bush was unable to unearth a single weapon of mass destruction in Iraq, he has shifted propaganda gears and talked more about how U.S. troops are installing democracy in Iraq.
But the truth of the matter is, Bush doesn't want any old democracy in Iraq.
He only wants a so-called democracy if he can pick the head of the new government .
That's why he's resisting the call from Iraq's leading Shiite cleric to hold popular elections in June.
The Bush Administration fears that a direct election would bring a Shiite to power whom Washington might not be able to push around. That leader could align with Iran, or renationalize industries, or order the U.S. troops out. And Bush wants none of that.
So he ordered Bremer to construct an elaborate process of picking electors around the country, a process the U.S. would control.
Bush's first excuse was that there isn't a decent census yet of Iraq's voting population, and there couldn't be one anytime soon. When people pointed out that the U.N. had such a census for the distribution of food rations, the Bush Administration pooh-poohed that.
Then it turned out that the Iraqi Ministry of Planning actually drew up a plan for a thorough census that could be completed by September 1, but somehow that plan was not distributed to all the members of the Iraqi Governing Council, as The New York Times reported on December 4. The U.S. pooh-poohed this plan, too.
Listen to the rationale from Charles Healtly, spokesman for the U.S. occupation: "Rushing into a census in this time frame with the security environment that we have would not give the result that people want," he told the Times.
Which people is he referring to? Bush and Bremer?
Healtly added, "There is concern not to rush the process."
Or as Noah Feldman, a former adviser to Bremer, said in an article on November 29: "Simply put, if you move too fast, the wrong people get elected."
We're for democracy.
Just not yet. Not until we've rigged the outcome.
Copyright 2003 The Progressive