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From R.J. Eskow's article in the Huffington Post 20th Dec 2005 :

Voting Confirms: Iraq Is a Red State

 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20051220/cm_huffpost/012636;_ylt=A0SOwlDDlahDVYAAdg39wxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTBjMHVqMTQ4BHNlYwN5bnN1YmNhdA--
An  election driven by religion. A deeply polarized electorate. Disputed voting results, where the only question is whether the fraud was small-scale or massive. Yes, we have succeeded in exporting American-style democracy to
Iraq. The question of whether it was worth it has been answered - with a solid "no" - by the American people, but they lack leaders who will speak for them. You get the democracy you pay for.
 
The mission of "exporting democracy" to Iraq had four key goals:
 
1. To create a US-friendly nation in the region
2. To build a working model of democracy as the neocons conceived it for the Middle East
3. To provide
Israel with an ally in the Arab world (which Chalabi had promised to deliver)
4. To isolate
Iran from the Arab world
 
What have we gotten instead, for the massive loss of American and Iraqi life and the hundreds of billions of dollars spent so far?
 
1. A country where 82% of the population "strongly opposes" our presence and 45% support armed attacks against US troops
2. A highly conservative, religiously-based electorate that's a far cry from the neocon vision of liberal democracy
3. A country that appears to be drawing closer and closer to Israel's enemies
4. A new ally and sister country to Iran, with similar religious and political beliefs
 
The juxtaposition of "neocon vision" with "liberal democracy" may sound strange to some of you, but one characteristic of the neoconservatives (and I've worked with a few) is a streak of naive idealism. They had the sincere belief, unsupported by research or data, that Middle Easterners would respond in an enlightened way when given the chance to vote - by looking at the big picture, considering the greater good of the country and the region, and recognizing the value of religious freedom.
 
Why did they believe that Iraqis would use the ballot in a more enlightened way than we do here at home? Voters are human. There - as here - many are influenced by their immediate personal needs and the advice of their clergy. That's what drove many voters in the last couple of US elections, and what seems to be driving them in Iraq. The Iraqis are further driven by their first-hand experience of the suffering of war, which each day hardens their resolve against America.
 
Democracy is not a tool, and shouldn't be used as one by cynics or naifs - and the neocons are both. Yes, more Iraqis voted this time. The Association of Muslim Scholars and other groups dropped their opposition to Sunni participation. As Juan Cole points out, though, that's analogous to the IRA's dual campaign of combat and electoral politics in Northern Ireland.
 
Democracy for democracy's sake is a valid goal, but few Americans would have supported this war - with its four objectives - knowing that these would be the four outcomes. The war-friendly Democrats are wrong to say that now that the harm's been done by invasion, we have to stay to fix it. That's a coward's stance. The truth is that harm was done by the invasion, and is made worse with every day we stay.
 
Yet no American leader, Republican or Democrat, will say what needs to be said: We've given the President his war, and we've seen the results. The Iraqis have elected their Iran-friendly, fundamentalist Muslim leadership, as is their sovereign right. Now let's leave the country to those leaders to run as they see fit.