White House Subverts Democratically Elected Government

“Iraq After Jaafari,” by Tony Karon, Time, 20 April 2006, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1185825,00.html (from No More Mister Nice Blog).

This is so bad that it’s almost hilarious.

Ngo Dinh Diem Jean Baptiste
January 3, 1910 – November 2, 1963
President of the Republic of Viet Nam

Because of inaction by his “ally” John Kennedy, the democratically elected President of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, was murdered in a military coup. The echoes of this would shatter America’s morale in Vietnam. While future Vietnamese Presidents came and went, all remembered that the weak and gimped defense of its friend, Ngo Dinh Diem.

President Bush, in one of his increasingly Kennedyesque moments, may have just sabotaged the Iraq War in the same way:

Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari announced Thursday that he would refer his nomination for a second term back to the United Iraqi Alliance, the dominant Shi’ite bloc in the new legislature. That opens the way for the Alliance to select a new candidate and break the deadlock created by the refusal of the Kurdish, Sunni and secular blocs, backed by the U.S., to accept a second Jaafari term.

Sistani may have also been spurred to intervene by ominous talk in Baghdad that a group of secular, once-exiled politicians previously favored by the U.S. were planning to seize power and seek U.S. backing. Former U.S.-appointed Prime Minister Iyad Allawi suggested on Iraqi TV last weekend that Iraqi political leaders, despite being marginalized by the Iraqi electorate, might have to create an extra-constitutional “emergency government.” One of his key allies, acting speaker of parliament Adnan Pachachi, told reporters that such a government would not be based either on the constitution or on the election results — results, he claimed, which didn’t necessarily reflect the true will of the Iraqi people . Such a move would likely provoke a violent Shi’ite reaction, if not full-scale civil war, which the moderate Sistani would be anxious to avoid.

Bush has been trying to marginalize the democratic government of Iraq for months now, and this is a new step. By pushing out Jaafari, who successfully turned the Mahdi Army against al Sadr, Bush moves us even closer to the Terrorists in Iraq and away from the loyalty forces that are the keys to victory.

Threatening our allies with a coup is sickening. Doing so to stop the outcome of a free election is worse. Trusting Bush with Phase IV operations in Iraq has been disastrous.

President Bush’s first term — including beginning our response to the Long War, the liberation of Afghanistan, the liberation of Iraq (including the disbanding of Iraq’s Army) — will go down as one of the greatest in American history. With the sole exceptions of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, Bush’s second term thus far is one of the worst.

2 thoughts on “White House Subverts Democratically Elected Government”

  1. Dan,

    There is plenty of evidence Jaafari was nothing more than a puppet of al-Sadr, so I really don't get your notion of “suberverting a democratically elected government.”

    It would be more to our benefit to not have anything to do with al-Sadr, don't you think?

  2. Brad,

    Regardless of his political affiliation, Jaafari's list won the election. There has been a four-month delay between the elections and the this news because he's the popular candidate of the popular party. An analogy would be similar to a UN mission “convincing” the Electoral College to delay its nomination of the winner of the November elections.

    I don't mind that there is a double-standard for countries like Iraq, but I sure mind when it's an anti-democratic double standard.

    'It would be more to our benefit to not have anything to do with al-Sadr, don't you think?”



  3. It's all me, me, me for way too many americans. The Iraqi constitution requires a 2/3rds vote to get a PM in and everybody knows that Jaafari never had the votes. It wasn't a sectarian thing. The new PM is Shia. It wasn't a faction thing. Both Jaafari and the new PM are from the same faction. It was Jaafari, personally, that wasn't acceptable to >1/3 of the Iraqi parliament. Heck, he wasn't acceptable to 49% of the UIA which should tell you something. He won the nomination by one vote inside the UIA caucus.

    Jaafari's still alive. He's in parliament. There was no coup. Jaafari never had the votes for a 2nd term, whatever the US did. The US may or may not have made things better or worse with their participation but it was hardly a replay of Vietnam.

    This post is an overwrought crock.

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