Socialist Worker

Iraq: No democracy under occupation

Issue No. 1929

George Bush and Tony Blair invaded Iraq with 140,000 armed soldiers and bombed the city of Fallujah to dust. Now they claim democratic elections will go ahead on 30 January.

Iyad Allawi, the politician appointed by Washington to run Iraq, has said that elections could be “delayed” in Fallujah and other centres of the resistance without it invalidating the overall result. Democracy then will be available only to those who do not resist an illegal occupation by a foreign superpower.

Even before Allawi was installed in June the US hand-picked a seven-member commission to run the elections. The commission can bar any candidate or party from standing. A similar US-appointed body controls who can set up a TV or radio station.

Washington imposed a law banning any party associated with a militia from standing.

If enforced fairly, this law would rule out even those political parties which make up Allawi’s government.

Meanwhile Allawi has declared the country is under a state of emergency. Last August he barred Al Jazeera television station from operating in the country after it criticised him.

Just in case all of this does not deliver the vote Bush requires, more US troops are on their way to Iraq. British commanders have admitted more British troops will be sent north to aid the Americans.

Last week US military commanders called for an extra 5,000 troops to “police” the election.

Washington pumps more than $5.8 billion per month into sustaining its forces in Iraq.

While Bush lavishes billions on war, the United Nations Development Programme has found that 400,000 Iraqi children are suffering from “wasting”, a condition characterised by chronic diarrhoea and dangerous deficiencies of protein. Acute malnutrition among young children in Iraq has nearly doubled since the US invasion.

There can be no democracy in the killing fields of occupied Iraq.

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Sat 27 Nov 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1929
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