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MacDemocracy Mk IV

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    Posted: 29 May 2006 at 9:44am

Democracy and occupation
Monday May 29, 2006
The Guardian

We are constantly bombarded by statements in which Iraq, as a self-evident truth, now has a democratically elected sovereign government, with troops and police who represent the will of the Iraqi people ('I'll miss his ties', May 27). Unfortunately the problem remains that, by definition, free and fair and fully representational elections can never be held under occupation. The occupiers hold the reins of power and can and will wield undue influence on the make-up of those who may stand for election and, after the event, on those who will hold positions of power, in what is in effect a puppet government that relies on the occupying force for legitimacy.

 

There are many such examples to be found in our colonial history. That the UN gave the most powerful country in the world and its camp followers a belated covering of official status, after an aggressive invasion and the destruction of Iraq's infrastructure, cannot disguise the gap between words and reality. It is the old colonising ruse which turns indigenous populations into "the problem". Those who fight against the new regime are seen as anti-democratic, destructive and intrinsically inferior, while we in our safe houses know with absolute certainty that we are doing only good. It is the mantra of the white man's burden in not-so-new clothing. Unless we become more honest, the picture you paint of the instability of the world (Leaders, May 27) will only grow darker, as we believe our own propoganda and continue to destroy our own hard won civil liberties, while seeking out enemies without and within, leading to further alienation of those who do not subsribe to our privileged view.
Jane Hoskins
Torquay, Devon

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