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Are We Really Spreading Democracy?

The Bush Administration, its supporters, and the mainstream media have lauded the results of the wars America waged on Afghanistan and Iraq as a spread of democracy in the Middle East.

Is that really the case?

We installed our puppet, Hamid Karzai, in Kabul where he only ventures outside with a contingent of U.S. supplied body guards. The rest of Afghanistan is under the rule of tribal war lords who are bribed with American tax dollars and a bumper poppy crop to keep insurgencies in check. The attack on Afghanistan, which was supposedly in response to the 9-11 attack allegedly planned by Osama binLaden and members of al Qaeda who trained there, was in fact planned months before and reported in several foreign papers in June of 2001.

In September of 2000, the Project For A New American Century, whose founding members make up the majority of the Bush Administration, released a paper called, "Rebuilding America's Defenses". That paper called for a foreign policy of pre-emptive military strikes starting with Iraq. It also stated that in order to get public support for such a policy quickly, a Pearl Harbor type event would be necessary. The 9-11 attack certainly filled that bill.

The lack of any reason for the attack on Iraq was cited as a "War on Terrorism" and tied to Saddam Hussein by propaganda insinuating that he was involved in the 9-11 attack, was working with binLaden and al Qaeda, and possessed WMD which he would probably pass along to terrorists. Committees to investigate the complete lack of WMD in Iraq blamed intelligence failures of the CIA. Not investigated was the Office of Special Plans, set up in the Pentagon by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz. The OSP cherry picked intelligence the CIA had rejected as unreliable and included information by Ahmad Chalabi's group of exiles who were pressing for regime change. Those reports were not vetted by intelligence analysts and were taken directly to Vice President Cheney's office.

After the killing of more than 100,000 Iraqis, including women and children, the destruction of homes and mosques, and the torture of thousands arrested in sweeps and later released because they were innocent, an election was held in January 2005. Was it a democratic election? The names of the candidates were not publicized because they feared assassination, and voters were threatened with the withholding of food rations if they didn't go to the polls. The end of Saddam's secular reign has also ended western dress for women if they don't want to be harassed on the street.

If democracy is government by the will of the people can it still be called democracy when it's enforced at the end of an occupier's rifle? We are spreading death and destruction for certain. Democracy is questionable.

4-11-05