The writing is on the wall. We are leaving Iraq shortly after having taken a stable, educated nation and destroyed it utterly, costing hundreds of thousands of lives in the process — a number which will only increase across the coming decades that will pass before the area recovers, if it ever can.
Short years ago Iraq was the most modern and educated nation in the region, ruled by a secular government, possessing a higher literacy rate than our own, opposed to Islamic terrorism and so industrialized as to be an equal trading partner to much of Europe. After destroying the Iraqi economy through needless sanctions and killing an entire generation of men, we have now finished the job, smashing every last bit of infrastructure from electronic and information means to fuel distribution systems. More to the point, even houses, walls, and roads have not been allowed to remain. As arrogant, corrupt superpowers have been historically wont to do, we have beaten a proud, first-world nation back into the stone age by force, murder, and mayhem, have decimated every community, every family, and every service beyond repair, and have taken care to ensure that we leave the hapless population in a descending spiral of meaningless but inevitable civil war that they neither desired nor sought, but which they cannot now avoid.
And thus, with the job well-done, we are happy to leave. It is beyond shameful or embarrassing. It can only cause one to despair for being complicit in such a crime against humanity — in a moral sin on such an epic scale. But leave we will, and we will blame the armageddon we have wrought on Iraq and its formerly educated, modern people on these very people themselves, even as we leave with impunity and return to our comfortable lives to watch from afar as hundreds of thousands more helplessly die in the engineered maelstrom that we have left for them.
And from that very same distance, we will plan, prepare for, and carry out — again, the writing is on the wall — similar invasions of Iran and others. Tower of historical conservatism Bill Buckley has recently argued that this proves nothing about the larger moral framework of the neoconservative movement, only that some populations are too barbaric to be turned to democracy, and that they thus deserve what they get. In short, it does not matter if Iraq is utterly destroyed, since the destruction of Iraq is a fitting punishment for such a society, unable or unwilling to embrace its intended role as a political or economic colony of the United States capitalist “democracy.”
The neocons and indeed the traditional conservative wing as well have misappropriated the term. The very nature of democracy is that it should proceed from the preferences of those that constitute it, not from massive infrastructure corporations and hedge funds that line the pockets of a global elite that own everything, unbeknownst even to much of the population that man their factories and office buildings, much less from functionaries that proceed mechanically from this übermarket and its barons and who create reigns of terror in its service in order to frighten populations into embracing the spread of global capitalism.
The slogan which silently underlies the entire American project at this point has been seen before in our history, though now it refers to economic and military subservience in a neocolonial economic world built by, dominated by, and sucked dry by the amoral elite of the military-industrial-übermarket complex. Nations would do well to hear it well and prepare, lest they face, as have the Iraqis, either absorption or destruction:
“Join or die.”
See also here, and note that nearly everything this administration has touched — from juris prudence to economic policy to domestic policy to environmental policy to national education to the military and treasury themselves, tools of destruction that they are — has turned to dust. If we are lucky enough to survive it intact, this presidency will go down as the most fatally incompetent and misguided in history. But it is equally as likely that we will not: that George W. Bush and the neoconservatives that have manned the PNAC and the Carlyle Group have actually brought about the beginning of the end of the history of the United States of America.
Anyone interested in knowing how the west really feels about “democracy” need only to look at Palestine, where a government fairly elected with a popular mandate greater than any that can be claimed by the governments of the west is now being ostracized, called illegitimate, undermined and threatened with removal, and/or ordered to ignore the popular will and adopt west-friendly policy initiatives in order to survive. Thing to note: the west does not care at all for democracy. It wants dominance, by which it can extract resources and cash from all other peoples. Period.