How's this for the flourishing "democracy" in Iraq?
Today, a suicide car bomb exploded outside the Turkish embassy in Iraq. It was just one incident of many in a day of horrible violence in Iraq that included an attack on Americans that left two soldiers dead and thirteen wounded. Elsewhere, a dead American soldier's body was found floating dead in the Euphrates River.
This violence is in itself a sign of a lack of democracy in Iraq, but it's what happened after the car bombing that really interests us. A group of about 50 Iraqi protesters spontaneously gathered at the scene of the bombing to denounce the American occupation of Iraq.
Under the authority of the American-led government of Iraq, police arrested the leaders of the protest, even though the protest was completely non-violent.
Is this what George W. Bush refers to when he promises that his invasion and occupation of Iraq will bring democracy to the Middle East?!? The last time we checked, the arrests of people who dare to speak out against their government is the antithesis of democracy. These are the actions of a dictatorship.
Of course, a dictatorship is exactly what Iraq is. In fact, it's not even a civilian dictatorship. Under the Americans, Iraq has been transformed into a military dictatorship, where there is no right to vote, no freedom to speech, no freedom of association, and no freedom of the press. Under Bush's military dictatorship of Iraq, critics of the government are thrown into prison.
The military forces in charge of Iraq have killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and keep on killing more and more. Sometimes, Bush's soldiers end up shooting civilian men, women and children. They say that it's an accident, however, it's an accident that happens almost every day.
The word is that a higher percentage American soldiers are committing suicide in Iraq than in any other recent American war. Something very wrong is going on over in Iraq, and the American people are not getting the whole picture from the official news of the Bush Administration.
How is Bush's rule of Iraq today different from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein? Well, George W. Bush doesn't have a silly mustache, but otherwise, he's just as much of a brutal Iraqi dictator as Saddam Hussein was. In fact, George W. Bush has even hired Saddam Hussein's old secret police to continue their dirty work under his command.
Oh, there's this other difference too: Saddam Hussein got rid of his weapons of mass destruction. George W. Bush still has his.
The American people have the power to stop this new Iraqi dictatorship. We can vote the dictator out of office in 2004. All we have to do is just register to vote some time in the next year. Yet, many Americans seem to take it for granted that they still live in a Democracy. Most Americans simply won't bother.
If we don't bother to exercise the freedoms that we enjoy under the American democracy, we may not have those freedoms much longer.
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