November 8, 2003
The Independent (UK)

How We Denied Democracy to the Middle East

We Created This Place, Weaned the Grotesque Dictators. And We Expect the Arabs to Trust Bush's Promise?

by Robert Fisk

It gets weirder and weirder. As his helicopters are falling out of the sky over Iraq, President Bush tells us things are getting even better. The more we succeed, he says, the deadlier the attacks will become. Thank God the Americans now have a few - a very few - brave journalists, like Maureen Dowd, to explain what is happening.

The worse things are, the better they get. Iraq's wartime information minister, "Comical Ali", had nothing on this; he claimed the Americans weren't in Baghdad when we could see their tanks. Bush claims he's going to introduce democracy in the Middle East when his soldiers are facing more than resistance in Iraq. They are facing an insurrection.


David Rohde, "Iraqis Were Set to Vote, But U.S. Wielded a Veto," New York Times, June 19, 2003

Ghazi Sabir-Ali, "Let Iraqis Rebuild Their Own Country ," The Guardian (UK), August 1, 2003

Enver Masud, "New Constitution a Pretext for Exploiting Iraq," The Wisdom Fund, September 16, 2003

"Arabs Bristle At Bush's Speech on Democracy," Associated Press, November 8, 2003

[The first indicator of what a Saddam-free education will look like is arriving this month, as millions of newly revised textbooks roll off the printing presses to be distributed to Iraq's 5.5 million schoolchildren in 16,000 schools. All 563 texts were heavily edited and revised over the summer by a team of US-appointed Iraqi educators. Every image of Saddam and the Baath Party has been removed.--Christina Asquith, "Turning the page on Iraq's history," Christian Science Monitor, November 4, 2003]

Naomi Klein, "Iraq is Not America's to Sell," The Guardian, November 7, 2003

Howard LaFranchi and Dan Murphy, "US shifts to war footing in Iraq's 'Sunni triangle'," Christian Science Monitor, November 10, 2003

Ivan Eland, "Double Standards in Double Time: Bush's Plan to 'Democratize' the World," The Independent Institute, November 12, 2003

["We will write into that constitution exactly the kinds of guarantees that were not in Saddam's constitution.," L. Paul Bremer told ABC's "This Week" from Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.

"We'll have a bill of rights. We'll recognize equality for all citizens. We'll recognize an independent judiciary. We'll talk about a federal government.

"All of these things will be in the interim constitution which will also provide in a limited time, probably two years, for a permanent constitution to be written that also embodies those American values."--"U.S. Will Help Draft New Interim Constitution, Bremer Says," Associated Press, November 16, 2003]

Alex Berenson, "Iraq's Shiites Insist on Democracy. Washington Cringes," New York Times, November 30, 2003

Joel Brinkley, "U.S. Rejects Iraqi Plan to Hold Census by Summer," New York Times, December 4, 2003

[We are surrounded by frenzied students, yelling, "This is the democracy? This is the freedom? You see what the Americans are doing to us here?"--Dahr Jamail, "Secondary School under Siege by US Forces," Electronic Iraq, December18, 2003]

Robert Fisk, "Iraq through the American looking glass," Independent, November 26, 2003

[In the province of Dhi Qar, about 230 miles southeast of Baghdad and a backwater even by Iraq's standards, residents voting as families will have elected city councils in 16 of the 20 biggest cities by next month. Bradley will have organized 11, more than half of them this month.--Anthony Shadid, " In Iraqi Towns, Electoral Experiment Finds Some Success," Washington Post, February 16, 2004]

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