In 1963, the CIA-backed coup that deposed the populist, left-leaning government of Brigadier General Abdul Karim Qassim, and eventually brought Saddam's Baath party to power, seems like it just happened yesterday. During the bloody hijack, lists of progressive activists were provided to Baathist henchmen by the US to be murdered in campuses and other public spaces. One of the men toting a gun, terrorizing the University of Baghdad, was none other than the esteemed Dr. Ayad Allawi himself, one of the main contestants in the recent Iraqi elections. He is the leader of the Iraqi National Movement (al-Iraqiya), the political party which won the greatest number of seats.
 

 

"It has been almost a million months since Iraqis ran to the polls, to fill holes in their souls with bloodstained ballots. Hundreds of candidates dressed up as maggots colored the liberal lining in occupied skies, and perpetuated the lies that there is democracy. Hypocrisy of the highest order, politicians blaming their failure on porous borders, while blindly following American orders on everything from defense to education. The death of a nation, systematic assassination and relentless dehumanization of millions of people. The burning of mosques, schools, hospitals and steeples for crumbs of rotten bread. Iraq is dead, shot in the heart and stabbed in the head." -- Excerpt from a new spoken word piece entitled, "Unfinished Letters from Iraq."

Prior to the parliamentary elections in Iraq on 7 March of this year, all the major political factions running in the country's nationwide elections declared the entire affair to be corrupt and not representative of the people's will. They were preemptively cooking an excuse for any unwanted results that might emerge out of the charade. Independent reports corroborated their suggestions with testimonies of fake registration forms and leaky ballot boxes. However, the elections went through, and the results were applauded by other fake democracies around the world. Since then a constipated coalition-building process has left Iraq with no government for more than eight months.

In spite of the satirical sadness of it all, the liberal media, and Iraq's desperate population, continue to hold on to the electoral proceedings with religious fervor. From outside Iraq, those who politically organized the occupation see the elections as justification for their complicity in mass murder. Meanwhile those inside the country try to cope with the immense loss of life by pinning their misguided hopes on the empty promises of one politician or the other.

The inaccuracy of the results and the subsequent drama only tell part of the story. An elections process cleverly diverts all attention from the colossal incompetency of the government, and spins the tall tale of a young, fledgling born-again country instead. The reality is that democracy in Iraq does not exist beyond the show business of sham elections.

In the absence of food, electricity, water, education, health, safety and dignity, the vote exists merely as a tool to stretch the life expectancy of the occupation and ironically works to quell any grassroots movements that would build genuine democratic institutions in the country. Students, workers, community organizations, women, single mothers, the disabled, orphans, the poor and all other marginalized sectors of society continue to watch democracy from a painful distance while bearing the brunt of its epic failures.

Historically, the emergence of a sovereign, self-sustained, secular, progressive, economically powerful country in the region was a worrisome possibility for an oil-hungry United States, obsessed with growing Soviet expansionism in the post-Second World War era. As such, the last forty years have witnessed a program of pillaging and exploitation that has eaten its way through some of the most fertile land in the world.

Under Saddam Hussein's Baath party, civil society in Iraq was destroyed, personal freedoms exterminated and the majority of the country's resources were wasted on a paranoid dictatorship and an American proxy war with Iran. Under the sanctions, Iraq's infrastructure was annihilated, millions of people were killed and theft and corruption took a stronghold in the mismanagement of the country's affairs. Since the occupation, millions more have had their lives destroyed, the greatest systematic extortion of a country's resources successfully executed and the language of sectarianism has choked the aspirations of many generations to come. Throughout this time, America also unleashed the most violent warfare in the history of mankind.

The elections are just another part of this death sentence issued to Iraq.

In 1963, the CIA-backed coup that deposed the populist, left-leaning government of Brigadier General Abdul Karim Qassim, and eventually brought Saddam's Baath party to power, seems like it just happened yesterday. During the bloody hijack, lists of progressive activists were provided to Baathist henchmen by the US to be murdered in campuses and other public spaces. One of the men toting a gun, terrorizing the University of Baghdad, was none other than the esteemed Dr. Ayad Allawi himself, one of the main contestants in the recent Iraqi elections. He is the leader of the Iraqi National Movement (al-Iraqiya), the political party which won the greatest number of seats.
 

Read full article in Electronic Intifada 18 November 2010  http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11635.shtml 

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