Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The new meme - elections a rebuke for Bush

The new meme doing the rounds with those that opposed the war is that the recent elections are some sort of rebuke for Bush.

This is only true if one accepts two dubious propositions -

That Bush did not want elections, and

The US wanted to maintain control of Iraq.

With the first, it is true that the original Bremmer plan was a rather round about way of leading to elections. But the intention was to have free and open elections. The differences with Sistani were over that lead-up process. That the US did eventually agree with Sistani should be to their credit. Another factor is that there were voices within the Sunni community asking for elections to be delayed.

Also it was only recently that many anti-war commentators were, and still are, saying that it was too soon for elections and/or the present state of affairs precluded legitimate elections from taking place. Having it both ways.

The second assumption is complete nonsense from start to finish. The conspiratorial Left will go on about imperialism but in reality the US has always intended to withdraw the troops and let Iraq function as an independent democracy.

But if this reasoning makes the election more palatable for some on the anti-war side then that's probably better than the other "it's all a sham" reaction. It is after all a victory for the Iraqi people and that is all that counts.

Personally, I hope the success of the elections will lead to a quicker withdrawal of the coalition forces.

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