The American Mockery of Democracy

Revolutionary Worker #1191, March 16, 2003, posted at

Bush personally makes the argument that the U.S. conquest of Iraq will "implant democracy" in the heart of the Middle East. But how "democratic" is a war that defies the wishes of the world's people with every step?

The U.S. government even mocks the parliamentary norms it claims to uphold. Powell and Bush make it clear that if they can't get this war approved through votes, then those votes and the reluctant institutions should be dumped!

The U.S. brags that its ally Turkey is the only electoral "democracy," in the Muslim world. But then, they openly bribe Turkey's government - offering billions of dollars in exchange for bases to invade northern Iraq. In Turkey's so-called "democracy" a grab for U.S. dollars and oil in northern Iraq means more than the opinions of Turkey's people, who are universally against the war.

Then to everyone's surprise, Turkey's parliament rejected the Turkish government's base deal. What was the U.S. response? They pressured for a new vote that would produce different results. There was talk of calling elections to produce a new parliament. If you don't like the vote, fire the parliament.

General Hilmi Ozkok, the head of Turkey's military, criticized parliament and called for giving the U.S. access to bases. This is a not-so-veiled threat against the whole parliamentary system -- Turkey's pro- U.S. military command has staged three coups since 1960, and imposed long years of fascist terror.

So much for "spreading democratic values" in the region!

In addition, the U.S. claims it has a right to impose "regime changes," which makes a mockery of the basic idea of the sovereignty of nations -- that the people of a country should govern themselves.

The current Iraqi government (which the U.S. once helped arm and finance and strengthen) is scheduled to be replaced by direct U.S. military dictatorship. Eventually a pliant pro-U.S. puppet government may be imposed on Iraq. Meanwhile the U.S. government is carving up oil resources of Iraq's people in secret negotiations.

Who can believe any of this is "creating democracy" in the Middle East or "liberation" for the Iraqi people?

Maoists say that electoral democracy under capitalism is bourgeois democracy -- meaning that it allows some democracy within and for the bourgeois-capitalist ruling class, but the state still exercises a dictatorship over the masses of people.

The United Nations is such a bourgeois democratic institution: a forum for the world's governments, not for the world's people. All major decisions are made by five major world powers with veto powers in the Security Council. The vast majority of the world's governments sit and watch. The masses of the world's people are completely voiceless there. And even in that Security Council, the U.S. made a mockery of their own supposed "democratic values."

The governments that support the U.S. -- Spain, Italy, Britain--are doing so in defiance of their own people. The U.S. media praises them for "holding the high moral ground" by opposing the will of the people.

Those governments that have not supported the U.S. war have faced crude bullying and bribery--in the kind of tainted arm-twisting associated with the corrupt Chicago-style vote-buying and machine politics.

Many have made the point that even if the U.S. got a "second UN resolution" this way-- that it wouldn't have ANY legitimacy at all.

It is chilling Orwellian doublethink: the U.S. government defies the will of the people, rejects parliamentary decisions, bullies whole countries for their votes and plans a military dictatorship over Iraq-- and does all this while waving the banner of"creating democracy"!

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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