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Like Iran, Iraq Well On The Way To Dictatorship As Well

The sham election in Iran, and the brutal suppression of the prodemocracy demonstrators in Iran reviewed Iran is little more than theocratic-military dictatorship. Unfortunately, many of the same signs are also present in Iraq as well, where Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is well on the way to becoming little more than just an Iranian backed dictator. Al-Maliki has built a network of security agencies that only report to him for one thing. Further, al-Maliki has steadily reduced any political rivals through his use of police, military or any secret agencies he directly controls.

While Iraq is supposed to have elections in 2010, expect them to be far less free and open than those elections in past. Ahead of this election, al-Maliki has built up a system of bribes and payoffs to various tribal leaders who are political allies of his. The fact of the matter is that the worse fears of al-Maliki have now proven true. He has slowly built up the political, police and military apparatus to make his government into a Iranian supported, Shiite religious dominated military dictatorship where there is little possibility of free elections in the near future. With an American pull back from the cities, expect al-Maliki to operate with far less restraint now. Iraq's government is merely a near carbon copy of the same sort of fundamentalist-military rule as in Iran.

A further problem is that the Al Dawa Party that al-Maliki is the public figure for is little more than a fundamentalist Shiite organization so closely aligned with Iran, that Iran could easily replace al-Maliki unless he follows their will. Al-Maliki is hardly the Iraqi nationalist that he publicly claims himself to be. It is all just window dressing for a near puppet leader of Iran's corrupt dictatorship. Iran couldn't win the 1980's war. But Iran gained control over Iraq's government because the U.S. made that path easy when George Bush toppled Saddam Hussein.saddam.jpg

The fact of the matter is that when George Bush calculated to topple the dictatorship Of Saddam Hussein In Iraq, there was little real planning to make Iraq a true democracy or to prevent fundamentalist religious elements from establishing another government much like Iran. Originally an American oversight committee worked with a coalition of political rivals to Saddam Hussein. However, gradually a group of Shiite fundamentalists emerged under the Al Dawa Party label, with a heavy religious clerical background with many from Iran. Now al-Maliki sits atop this fundamentalist religious organization as their public relations man, which isn't that much different than the role Ahmadinejad in Iran. And with less future American oversight, you can certainly expect far more human rights abuses to take place, and for the Shiite controlled government to further suppress more Sunni political rivals. saddam-statue-190308_20527t.jpg

The religious-military government of Iraq has essentially locked true moderate Iraqi political leaders like former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his moderate democratic nationalist and secular political party allies from any meaningful political role in Iraq. Allawi was a true secular democrat and a true reliable ally for the United States to trust to make the nation into a modern secular Muslin nation much like Turkey. Instead, with so little political planning, coupled with little military planning for a long occupation of Iraq, the 2003 George Bush invasion of Iraq really had little planning other than a military plan to topple Saddam Hussein. There simply was not good plans to replace a Saddam Hussein dictatorship with the real mechanics for a real and durable democracy. Allawi still remains the one best hope for secular democracy in Iraq, however has no viable path back to power because his ability to politically compete has been effectively blocked by the Al Dawa control of the election machinery. maliki.jpg

A further problem is that the Obama Administration wants to concentrate on other hot spots right now like Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and North Korea. But the problems in Iraq will not improve on their own, and with even less U.S. influence, the Iraqi government will become less responsible and only behave just well enough to continue to gain billions in American aid. However, while the government has plenty of money due to oil revenues, corruption among elected officials in the al-Maliki government makes plenty of this money disappear into thin air.

Meanwhile, the economy of Iraq continues with serious problems, with few jobs, and still just only a few hours of electrical service a day even in many places like Baghdad. More clean water is still needed. However, with billions in oil revenues only disappearing into government corruption prevents progress on many of these critical fronts. Further, the Kurds in the North continue to concern our U.S. ally in Turkey with their expansionist goals to eventually expand their empire into parts of Turkey and hurt this important relationship with this important NATO ally.

The ghosts of the George Bush Iraq War fiasco will continue to haunt both the Obama Administration and the United States public many years. At some point, most Americans are going to realize that Iraq and Iran are far more similar than they are different. Neither is a real democracy, both are in fact religious-military dictatorships controlled by Iran. The more than 4,000 American lives lost in Iraq didn't really achieve too much more than replacing one dictator in Iraq with another one. That's supposed to be progress?

Maybe the rock group, The Who, summed all this up the best with, "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss". It might just take a magnifying glass to identify any real differences between either Saddam Hussein, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nouri al-Maliki.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (7)

Mac Lorry:

So the principle here is that we should never overthrow a dictatorship because it might just be replaced by another dictatorship. The Dear Leader of North Korea will be so happy to hear that news that he might not launch a missile toward Hawaii on the 4th of July.

Paul Hooson:

Hello Mac. No, my point is that the United States needed some way to allow secular moderate democrat Allawi a way to establish truly democratic traditions in Iraq. However, with no traditions of democracy in the nation, added to the heavy influence of Iran, Iran's strong presence in Iraq only helped to establish a government too close the Ahmadinejad and theocratic regime in Iran.

The Bush Administration had a plan to oust Saddam Hussein, but no good plan for a long occupation or war, or for establishing a secular democracy in Iraq. At some point, the U.S. will be haunted by problems with an out of control fundamentalist government in
Iraq once the U.S. leaves that might even seek nuclear weapons or other WMD threats to Israel as well as Iran being a regional threat. Instead of one Iran, we now could potentially have two.

Nation building in Iraq needed to include building a real moderate and secular democracy in that state somehow.

Rich Fader:

Really? It was working fine last fall. What did your guy do?

Mac Lorry:
The Bush Administration had a plan to oust Saddam Hussein, but no good plan for a long occupation or war, or for establishing a secular democracy in Iraq.

While Bush had a plan to oust Saddam and then move in quickly to restore order and stabilize Iraq, that plan was derailed by how quickly the Iraqi forces collapsed. Nobody expected that, and the vacuum left in the wake of the collapse of Saddam's government allowed destabilizing forces to gain a foothold.

Bush also failed to account for the strength of the domestic anti-war forces that gave insurgents hope that they could ultimately win in Iraq if they could just hold on long enough.

The bottom line is that the nation you fear Iraq might become, it already was under Saddam and his murderous sons. Saddam was well on his way to bribing his way out from under UN sanctions, and once lifted, Saddam would have been free to rebuild his military using billions of petrol dollars. Saddam would then seek to avenge himself on the U.S. for his humiliation at the hands of Bush 41. Saddam had made peace with Iran and was a known supporter terrorism. We can only speculate how that would have turned out, but it's just as valid as the speculation you are using.


If your fears about the new Iraq come to pass Paul, will it be because Bush invaded?

Or, is it because Obama has largely turned his back on the situation since taking over?

It could also be said that Obamas recent 'dictator friendly' statements about Honduras, combined with his general 'wishy-washy'ness in regards to the Iranian protests havent exactly signaled a strong american preference towards democracy - for Iran, Iraq or any other country.


Paul, shooting from the lip a little early aren't we? What's the matter, the fact that US troops are pulling out got you down? The fact that the surge worked, and your buddy Barry said it wouldn't have you despondent? Have no fears Paul. I give Barry credit. He'll yet pull defeat out of the jaws of victory.


Paul, you may be partially right about Maliki, without a tradition of democracy, it's pretty hard to start one from scratch. However, you are very wrong on several things. Maliki isn't running his opponents through wood chippers, or pushing them off buildings. You speak of secret security apparatus that is offing his opponents, but the question is, are his most radical opponents involved in illegalities and terrorism, as it seems, or is it just because they oppose him? From what I'm seeing, there is lots of evidence to tie them to crimes and radical violent movements.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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