The Purple Finger crowd has once again grown eerily silent about democratizing the planet. Hardly a word about those great Velvet Revolutions being inspired by the "transformation" of Iraq (they were all pumped up about Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and Egypt and now...) How about that Haiti?, some fine work there. Speaking of democracy, wouldnt it make sense for Israel and the US to "allow" Hamas to field a candidate, bring them into the process in Palestinian elections? US Congress claims because they are armed ( unlike Iraqi parties with militias?) and do not recognize the right of Israel to exist they should be banned. Again we are talking about the opaque power behind the "framing" of a debate. The perverted state of our own democracy is probably not what you would call a great advertisment either.
I know where there are some democratic movements being built, South of our border, but do not expect to hear much about them because in these instances the US is doing everything in it's power (short of direct involvement) to subvert them.
The Nation editors a few weeks backs said they would only support candidates willing to take a position in favor of troop removal, a stand which drew the ire of many stalwart dems. They won't cut and run. What if we cut and walked? or crawled? The standard presentation is : It was a mistake to go in (or to have gone in unprepared) but we can not now leave (honorably, practically?) until victory, or we have made things "right", or they can take over or some such. All crap. It was illegal to go in, and incredibly stupid. There is no such thing as "victory" (short of colonizing the region from Packistan to Libya) and even if there were, justifying the death and destruction just to save face is heinous. Our presence is the prime instigator of the insurgency by foriegn jihadists and inflames tensions between the Shias, viewed as US puppets and collaborators, and Sunni. There will continue to be political struggles and accompanying violence over power and resources regardless of our occupation, there will be revenge killings and minor turf battles for a long time to come, regardless of our occupation. The US should leave as quickly as possible and beg forgiveness from the Iraqis and the world for it's unilateral, preemptive rush to an ill concieved and poorly executed war and occupation and pay for reparations and rebuilding. We should refuse to take even one drop of the oil, even at 60 dollars a gallon. This humbling action should force us to learn a long over-do lesson about hubris and nationalist triumphalism. A huge tax increase to pay for the mess would help toward that end as well.