Tuesday, June 19, 2007

pointing an ink-stained finger at the truth

The Bush Administration likes to point to the February 2006 bombing of the golden dome of the Askariyya Mosque as the beginning of the sectarian violence—the civil war—in Iraq, and most of the lazy establishment media has just decided to ignore the historical record and parrot that construction. The inconvenient truth of the matter is that sectarian murders were already a regular part of Iraqi life at the time of that first Samarra bombing. A more accurate assessment would trace the beginnings of the civil war to a seemingly much more peaceful event—the parliamentary elections of January 2005.

That Iraqi election, coming only a couple of months after the first US assault on Falujah (a Sunni stronghold), was almost completely boycotted by Sunnis, and the result was a national government dominated by Shiites and Kurds. From that point on, the Sunni’s felt little investment in the US-imposed Iraqi government, and the Shiites felt little constraint on their power.

Funny enough, just two days after that election, Bush made a big show of his democracy agenda, bragging in his State of the Union speech about elections in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian Territories to a purple-fingered joint session of Congress.

Looking at those places a little over two years later, it is hard to imagine a worse advertisement for democracy. . . what’s up with that?

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