Saturday, February 12, 2005

GOP and the Iraq vote

Republicans are now parroting the talking point that the recent Iraqi election is justification for the Iraq war and the consequent death and disablement of so many American soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilians. I too believe that freedom and self-determination of a people is the only possible justification for so much suffering, but I fear this election may be only the exception to a repressive rule, and that freedom is not the fate the Bush Administration has in mind for Iraqis.

At least, finally, the buck has stopped. Unlike all the previous justifications, discarded so conveniently when they proved illusory, democracy and freedom are too central to our values to be conveniently supplanted by a new rationale.

At the end of the day, when the Iraqi election is seen to have led to a new ally for Iran, an oppressive Islamic state, or a terrible civil war in Iraq, the hubris and folly of Bush's policy of armed intervention in Iraq will finally be recognized by all as the historic mistake it is.

It is naive to believe that peace, freedom, and democracy come without a price. And that price is too often violence and death. However, this hard fact can never justify the exploitation, repression, torture, and killing of the very people whom we are trying to free. And that, tragically, is exactly the product this Administration and its apologists are trying to sell us.

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