The election held in Iraq in January was hailed as the birth of a new democratic process.
People in Britain don’t believe it. Opposition to the war and the occupation is on the rise. In an ICM poll published in the Daily Mirror on Tuesday of this week a massive 72 percent said that the Iraq war had been a failure for the Blair government.
Just 22 percent thought it had been a success. When asked if things were “better in Iraq since Saddam” the biggest number, 47 percent, thought this was not true.
It’s no surprise people think this way. More than two months after elections in Iraq there have been nothing but wrangles over the new government.
You would hardly know it from the British press, which has been almost silent on this issue, but the US and its allies are still trying to block any outcome which does not suit their wishes.
A speaker of the parliament has just been agreed but at the beginning of this week no prime minister or president had been decided. So if you thought the Iraqis ran their own country, think again. The government of Iyad Allawi, which got one of the lowest votes in the election, is still in charge. Allawi’s list, like all the pro-occupation parties, was rejected by the overwhelming majority of Iraqis.
Yet the US and its allies, especially the Kurdish parties, are insisting that Allawi remains in the government. This is one of the reasons that they can’t get agreement on a new government. This shows exactly who is still controlling Iraq — the US. The US and the people who lost the election have complete contempt for the majority. The loser still wins in Iraq.
The real fact, which the British and the US will not acknowledge, is that the Sunni population of Iraq boycotted the election in very large numbers because they wanted the troops to leave. The Shia population voted in very large numbers, but also did so because they want the troops to leave. A majority of the people in Iraq want the troops to leave and want to run their own country.
Yet, repeatedly, the Western powers try to keep the people who don’t represent majority Iraqi opinion. They also have every interest in fostering ethnic and confessional division in order to bolster their illegal occupation.
Meanwhile, ordinary Iraqis continue to suffer. Figures released last week showed that malnutrition for Iraqi children has doubled since the occupation began.
The number of civilian deaths, according to Iraq Body Count, remains at several hundred a month. Only last weekend the resistance launched an attack on Abu Ghraib prison — the centre of the occupation’s torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
This shows that the resistance is alive and well and is still fighting against the occupation. The hell which is Iraq will continue until the troops are withdrawn.
The elections in Iraq , as the anti-war movement predicted, have changed nothing and will change nothing until the Iraqis can elect a government which will genuinely reflect their views, free from imperial interference.
The troops are there not to help that process but to ensure it does not happen.