What you Need To Know

Opinions expressed in my articles are my own, and opinions in the articles and comments section written by others are strictly those of the author or commenter and not me.

Please be civil, it adds nothing to the conversation to engage in name-calling.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

We Needed to Invade Iraq to Spread Democracy Around the Middle East?

Yeah, remember that was one of the reasons why we invaded Iraq - to bring democracy to those people there at the point of a gun.

Well, the people in Tunisia and the people in Egypt and who knows how many other countries in the Middle East (Palestinians anyone?) are trying to bring democracy by peaceful protests. And who are 'we' siding with? The dictators of course. We want stability above all. And the dictators who have been our friends ensure stability above all. So we will urge Mubarek to step down in favor of our hand-picked CIA sock-puppet torture-master because we want stability.

In the meantime our right-wing flame-throws around the fact that somehow the Muslim Brotherhood is forming a caliphate with Code Pink and Jon Stewart to take over the world so everyone should be afraid, be veeeeeery afraid.

What is remarkable in all this in Egypt is that the Army has said they will not fire on their own people - and are mostly acting as a 'fence' between the peaceful anti-government protesters and the pro-government violent thugs - many of whom appear to be members of Mubarak's secret police.

The people in the street want a European-style democracy, one with lots of political parties in a parliament. That parliament will elect a Prime Minister in much the same way that Britain, Germany and yes even Israel does. And yes, the Muslim Brotherhood will be one of those parties. But not the only one, and probably not even the most powerful one. Israel has political parties that are more radicalized than the Muslim Brotherhood - they participate in the Likud. All these groups ask is to be heard and to participate - as citizens - in the governance of their country.

I thought that was what this country - the United States - was supposed to be about. But looking at the US lately I am beginning to wonder. The GOP seems to feel that if you are not a member of the extreme right wing of their party that you are a traitor, you hate America, you are un-American, that you are automatically a socialist (not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion), a communist, a fascist, and that you can hold all those contradictory positions at the same time. Anyone who objects to this characterization or questions them is accused of being a hater and vilified for daring to speak up. They are told that they are trying to deprive the GOP and its followers of their constitutional rights, and the name-calling begins or continues louder and in more obnoxious fashion.

Controversies are manufactured where there are none, the talking heads on the networks and the cable shows all chime in and 95 percent of the voices are coming from the right so the entire megaphone of the press magnifies and amplifies all the screaming and self-victimization, the false-equivalency preening and contributes to an almost complete and total disinformation campaign that leaves the average person completely demoralized, disgusted and disenchanted with the entire political process that is so necessary for a democracy to function. And that is the whole point.

The fewer persons who participate the easier it is for the special interests to get, and keep control of our now-broken government.

So how does this relate to Iraq and now Egypt?

Think about it. Iraq was a war for the special interests - Halliburton in particular, oil companies in general, and Dick Cheney and Eric Prince both managed to become very wealthy indeed off the proceeds. How did they do that? Rigged elections, putting idealogues on courts, lots of money in the right places, and it continues to this day with no prosecutions for war crimes.

We have propped up Mubarak because he and his new vice president ran our torture and rendition program for us, they helped us keep the Palestinian problem under control, and they have given us first place in line in the shipping through the Suez Canal. That means billions of dollars to the special interests here in the US.

All of this is one of a piece. Democracy - true democracy is trying to break out all over the Middle East. We - the US - need to get out of the way and let it happen. We need to stop propping up corrupt dictators and overthrowing democratically elected governments just because we don't like them. It's not our decision to make. We have enough problems of our own to clean up.

No comments: