NYT: Iraqis too Stupid and Violent for America's Valiant Atempt to Instill Democracy

I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the New York Times. Did I mention that my feelings towards that particular paper are less than positive? Well they are.

There's an NYT article published on 12th Nov with the ominous heading of "Stability vs. Democracy". lenin-with-a-little-l does a good job of dissecting the underlying creepiness here. It seems that after the mid-terms there's a new impetus towards criticism of the war in Iraq, but no new understanding of how to do so. Based on this article and a couple of questions by American reporters heard elsewhere, I am going to jump to the conclusion that the US media is now trying to oppose the occupation of Iraq in exactly the same racist, imperialistic and jingoistic terms that it once supported it - probably the only terms it knows.

What I'd like to discuss about this article is the way it casually rewrites history, starting with its header. The article implies explicitly states that, after Saddam was deposed, America immediately set about building a nice shiny democracy, but now, in the face of all those disgruntled natives, they may have to give up and choose a stable country over a free one. For the moment, let's assume that an undemocratic Iraq would be more stable, and would not encourage even more people to pick up arms. This is what America originally wanted.

The elections of June 2004 were originally the time at which America was going to install an unelected 'provisional government' which would rule the country until it was deemed fit for democracy. As the situation in the country worsened, the number of years that the provisional government was expected to rule for was extended. Some powerful Americans started to wonder if perhaps they should just leave it that way, and never hold elections. However, the Americans in Iraq were crestfallen to discover that they were not the ones in charge of the Iraqi people. By and large it was Ayatollah Ali Sistani. And this religious nutcase, from the intrisically-incompatible-with-democracy religion of Islam, was adamant that the ones in charge of the Iraqi people should be the Iraqi people themselves. These Iraqis sure do have a different set of cultural standards to us, don't they! No wonder it was all doomed to failure!

Thanks to the Ayatollah's sway over the Shia people in Iraq and his dogged determination that Iraq should be a democracy, in June 2004, instead of installing an unelected government, Iraq held democratic elections. The US acted like this was what they had planned all along, and most of the media happily reported it this way.

Now that things haven't worked out so well, coincidentally after little matters like America policing the country with guided missiles, we are now being presented with this idea as if it were an uncomfortable but possibly necessary solution to a difficult problem, rather than what they actually wanted to do all along.

Fuck off The New York Times.


Disillusioned kid said...

You've managed to sum up the last three-and-a-half years of US (and UK) policy in Iraq in one succinct post. That's pretty impressive.

Shame the truth's so depressing, mind.

Disillusioned kid said...

Oh yeah, have you got any idea why your comment's thing won't let me log in? I had to log in on Blogger and come back. (This isn't the only time this has happened.)

Pacian said...

One of the shiny new features of Blogger Beta as far as I can tell.

It is possible to log in via the comments section, but a little picky: make sure that you've entered your username and password correctly, completed the word verification, and entered some text in the text field. Then click preview to try it out. If the word verification has expired or is incorrect, or if the text field is empty, you'll have to re-enter your password.

All fun and games. Thanks for the praise, btw.