I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The joys of Iraqi democracy . . . for Iran

When it comes to Iraq, I know I have been beating the same (Iranian) drum for awhile now, but it really continues to amaze that the Administration and its supporters are celebrating an event – the Iraqi election – which is well on its way to creating the absolute worst possible situation for the United States: another fundamentalist Islamic theocracy, this one closely allied with Iran.

Patrick Cockburn, Middle East Correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, reports (h/t The Peking Duck):

Iraq is disintegrating. The first results from the parliamentary election last week show the country is dividing between Shia, Sunni and Kurdish regions. Religious fundamentalists now have the upper hand. The secular and nationalist candidate backed by the US and Britain was humiliatingly defeated. . . .

Islamic fundamentalist movements are ever more powerful in both the Sunni and Shia communities. Ghassan Attiyah, an Iraqi commentator, said: "In two and a half years Bush has succeeded in creating two new Talibans in Iraq." . . .

Iran will be pleased that the Shia religious parties which it has supported, have become the strongest political force. . . .

Even our Ambassador in Iraq is incapable of putting the sort of giddy happy faces on the Iraqi election which Administration officials here have tried (as usual) to impart:

The US ambassador in Baghdad, Zilmay Khalilzad, sounded almost despairing yesterday as he reviewed the results of the election. "It looks as if people have preferred to vote for their ethnic or sectarian identities," he said. "But for Iraq to succeed there has to be cross-ethnic and cross-sectarian co-operation."

Conservative pro-war and pro-Bush blogger Bill Quick at Daily Pundit put it this way:

Does Bush - or anybody else - think he can put the genie of a fully armed and aroused Shiite majority in control of the Iraqi government by entirely legitimate, democratic means, back in the bottle? Because that is what it is going to take to appease the Sunnis. And no matter how hard Bush tries, it's not going to happen.

In fact, if Bush doesn't stop screwing around, what he's going to end up with is what he fears most: both the Shia and the Sunni in revolt against the "American occupation" amidst a full-blown civil war. And never fear: the harmless, "impregnable" Iranians will be more than happy to aid their Shia religious brethren to victory in that battle.

I wonder if the Iranian mullahs also have little get-togethers where they stick their kids’ fingers in purple ink and make them walk around like that all day to celebrate the Iraqi elections. If they don’t, they should.

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