Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Daily Kos :: GOTV: it's why we invaded

So listening to the latest rash of "mission accomplished" talk in the wake of the elections, it's striking how the other side has convinced itself that we have spent $200 billion and over 1,500 US and allied lives so that Iraqis could vote.
These people couldn't give a rat's ass about Saudis not voting (in any meaningful fashion), they couldn't care about Uzbekistanis suffering under their own torturing regime, they couldn't care about that great Democratic nation -- Pakistan -- with its military coup-installed dictatorship.

Iraq wasn't about WMDs. It wasn't about a torturing, murdering regime (since we've done a great job of giving Iraqis more of the same). It was about GOTV.

Anyime a people get to vote, it's a great thing. But voting in and of itself means little. In Iraq, it means that Shiite dominate over the Sunnis is now somewhat institutionalized. It means that Iraqis will bid American troops a fond farewell, and turn to guns when the occupiers stay put. It means that these newly elected individuals will now face a wave of assassinations. It means an Iraqi government too weak to protect the machinery of the Iraqi economy. Miles of oil pipelines cannot be protected.

Exactly. I want to be careful not to minimize the significance of the fact that the election came off much better than we on the left expected. (Of course, if "only" 40-odd Americans had been killed while voting, that would be seen as a disaster, but the bar is obviously a lot lower in Iraq.) But the focus on the election is a shell game. And people are going to be dying from the other kind of shells over there for a long time. And there are still no damned WMDs.


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