There is an old saying, one that likely dates back to the 14th century: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Though this phrase has long since been butchered into a meaningless fragment of it’s former self, it remains quite relevant (especially in it’s original form). It is shorthand for stating that if one wants to see if a concept is valid, then one needs only to look at the concept in action. The ‘democratization’ of Iraq is such a concept.

The Bush administration, either directly or through their right-wing and ‘moderate’ media surrogates, tossed up justification after disingenuous justification in order to grease the political wheels for their illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. After the invasion was accomplished, and the foundations of the current quagmire properly laid, the final excuse was penciled in. The United States is now in Iraq to ‘help the Iraqis’ establish a western-style democracy; the success of this new democracy will be the spark for new democracies throughout the Arab and Muslim world. These democracies will supposedly replace the dictatorships we propped up and continue to support, as well as the putatively ‘rogue’ theocracy or two that are the product of people who got tired of living under brutal U.S. puppets. I digress, however.

People with working brains who have been watching the Iraq mess develop are aware that the Bushies were planning to conquer Iraq even before they stole the presidency in 2000. The invasion of Iraq was intended to take out recalcitrant middleman Saddam Hussein, and install a puppet government that would be more friendly to U.S. corporate interests. Any elections or other supposedly democratic activity that will be carried out by the U.S. occupation force and its local band of well-dressed Gunga Dins will be simply for show. No matter how many U.S. or Iraqi operatives sincerely want a democracy in the beleaguered nation, it isn’t going to happen their way. You can’t start out doing wrong and expect it to turn out right.

The violent Iraqi insurgency has been painted in the U.S. media as the desperate actions of those who don’t want progress. However, I submit that it is far more complicated than that. The men who have taken up arms against the illegal occupation force are probably aware that their old nemesis (Saddam Hussein) was helped into power and helped to maintain power by the country that now occupies them and has proceeded to sell their country out from under them. Their unwillingness to submit to U.S.-sponsored servitude is understandable, even if they don’t have any better alternatives in mind.

In any case, the Bushies can say all they want about their true goals in Iraq. They can state and restate their alleged goals until they believe their own propaganda. This has likely already become the case with some of the more delusional neo-cons infesting the executive branch these days. However, the way they have handled things– from the spurning and slandering of the UN, to the propaganda and lies spread to the U.S. public, to the torture atrocities– offers irrefutable evidence of the nature of the Iraq debacle. The latest Iraq policy gem to hit the fan allegedly has yet to be enacted, but it carries with it an historical stench that should make even it’s being considered cause for alarm.

‘The Salvador Option’

The Pentagon May Put Special-Forces-led Assassination or Kidnapping Teams in Iraq

by Michael Hirsh and John Barry

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