Via the Great and Honorable Digby, I just read a bunch on the recent Hamas victory. But here’s the thing. This isn’t a rebuke of Bush’s democracy policy. This was a rebuke against Bush’s democracy rhetoric. But even a halfwit child should have seen directly through this ruse. I mean, how is it possible that Bush is Mr. Democracy, when he insists that a relatively peaceful and secure country as our own needs to have many of its freedoms curtailed, all at his personal discretion? A man with a clear disdain for the Constitution, Congress, and our entire judicial system. He clearly wants to be our benevolent dictator, so how can such a man be so pro-democracy in foreign lands with huge security problems, yet so anti-democracy at our secure home?
That never jibed, and people acted like it was some kind of mysterious conundrum or something. But it’s bullshit. The answer was clear. Bush doesn’t give a flip about democracy. It was just window dressing for his Iraq policy. Because his Iraq policy wasn’t necessarily about democratizing Iraq, it was about getting rid of Saddam and opening the country up to Bush’s kind of people. Hell, that’s been the Bush Family Way for decades and has made him the man he is. If the powerful people won’t be your friends, then you replace them with folks who will be. And for Iraq, if that could be done through the democracy thing, fine. But if not, he’s not going to lose sleep over it.
And there really is something to this. If it was your choice to allow a democratically-elected terrorist to head Iraq and Palestine, versus you installing a pro-American strongman to run things; which do you pick? There’s pluses and minuses to both, but if the terrorist-led Iraq eventually blows up New York, that’s on your head. And after all, democracy is no magic bullet and history has given many examples of benevolent installed leaders who did not abuse their power. It’s quite unfortunate that the 2000 SCOTUS couldn’t have given us one of those instead.
And that’s exactly what Bush wanted in Iraq, I’m sure. Because again, the whole “Iraq Elections” thing was NEVER Bush’s idea. They were totally against it. They were supposed to install Bremer or somebody to run the place for many years, possibly longer. And is that such a bad idea? My history isn’t the greatest, but I believe that this is what we did after WWII in Germany and Japan. We didn’t rush out the voting booths and smear purple paint all over the place. We put in a benevolent strongman to get things on their feet. And they had TONS of power. Someone please correct if I’m wrong on that, but that’s my impression.
And that’s what was supposed to happen in Iraq. Except it didn’t. Everything started going to hell in a handbasket, and then they started blowing up the handbaskets. And so the Elections thing was supposed to help cool that down. And if it didn’t cool things down, it was at least supposed to give Bush the political cover to get the fuck out of Baghdad. And that’s still the plan. Bush ain’t no cut-and-runner, but if things don’t significantly improve, he has no problem with detach-and-skedaddle.
Democracy as Politics
Democracy was little more than the best rack to hang his hat on, and it’s worked damn well; at least for him, anyway. Whether or not he believed in WMD’s and terrorist-ties, he had no good proof of either; meaning that he made damn fools out of each and every one of his supporters. And yet, before they had the slightest hint of this, they were already being rewired for the whole “Democracy in Iraq” thing. The same people who had no problem with the “collateral damage” of killing innocent Muslims during war (which was often seen as payback for the innocent Americans killed on 9/11) suddenly became their biggest supporters…except when they weren’t (Abu Ghraib (wingnut alert!)). And they even had fun turning the tables and pretending as if they had always been the anti-bigots (wingnut alert!).
Had Bush’s initial fantasies of massive WMD stockpile’s and rose petals in the streets somehow been closer to reality, there would have been none of this democracy talk. We’d have Garner or Bremer or some other American strongman dishing out the contracts according to the Bush Family & Friends plan, and Bush couldn’t have been happier. Bush’s push for democracy was done solely out of political necessity, both in Iraq and in our own country. He had an election to worry about, and his democracy plan for Iraq really seems to have worked miracles in subverting our own.
And so I’d prefer that people not tear their hair out too much over this. Again, it’s not a change in policy. It’s just one more piece of Bush rhetoric that has to be tossed-out of the playbook. But then again, many of those pages are clearly being used well past their expiration dates. Here’s Carpetbagger lamenting yet another usage of Bush’s absurdly out-of-date “Saddam Hussein was given a choice. He chose war.” This never made sense to anyone paying attention at the time, and yet he’s still saying it!
I suppose that as long as there are believers out there who refuse to question him, he’ll continue to repeat it. And the same goes for this Hamas thing. Sure, his great push for democracy has brought official terrorists into the fold, but he knows that democracy will eventually beat them all back. As he says:
And the second way to defeat the terrorists is to spread freedom. You see, the best way to defeat a society that is -- doesn't have hope, a society where people become so angry they're willing to become suiciders, is to spread freedom, is to spread democracy.
Unless of course, the suiciders’ recruiters gain control, in which case anything goes!