Tuesday, February 1

It’s Morning In Iraq

Those that used the slogan “It’s morning in America” during the Reagan years are again employing it in Iraq. And while former President Ronald Reagan had his bedtime for Bonzo, the favourite chimp, the monkey of Middle Eastern democracy today has America as its Organ Grinder.

It is the dancing of that Iraqi monkey that is key here: the country has permanent American military bases; the country is now an American dependant; the country is of fundamental strategic importance to the U.S. lying in the geographic centre of the Middle East with the world’s second largest oil reserves within the context of a more unstable, less reliable, Saudi Arabia. And, as world oil resources tighten, Iraq will only increase in strategic and economic value for the Pentagon as an Organ Grinder.

As everyone hears, the word “democracy” is used a lot. But, what is “democracy”? The word is dropped like a cluster bomb repeatedly by the ruling political class and the Pentagon, who, of course, never institutionally employ it themselves, but who use it to justify the flagrant invasion of the sovereign state of Iraq ever since there were no “WMD” (I guess we are just suppose to forget about that); bad dictator notwithstanding, the invasion was about the strategic value of the region and the target of opportunity that it became in the wake of 9/11.

OK. That’s old news. What is not is the use of democracy as a feel-good weapon, where, it is assumed, American dominance is better for them anyway (which may, eventually, be true). In fact, the fractious and fragmented insurgents lost this week in Iraq because they offered no solutions to the people, only the negatives of anti-Americanism and anti-Colonialism, which is not enough when you’re out of water.

However, the problem with democracy is that you can’t have an Organ Grinder to make you jump. You have to actually be the Organ Grinder for it to last. Primitive democratic processes, with weak constitutional liberalism, can elect leaders who are anti-democratic, a Mullah, a strongman, another Saddam – that is unlikely to happen with an American Organ Grinder playing songs for Iraq’s democratic monkey, but there still may be the internal will for it.