More Hurdles For Iraqi Democracy Neocon

(More) Hurdles for Iraqi Democracy

The Neocon idea that a post-war, US-dominated Iraq would become a beacon of democracy faces more and more hurdles. The increasingly strident and increasingly controversial Kurdish demand for a consolidated Kurdish super-province with relative autonomy from Baghdad could well derail the new Iraq. The demand is not acceptable to Turkmen and Arabs in the north, who are numerous enough to make trouble about it. The Kurds themselves have armed paramilitaries.

Then, it seems likely that the Bush administration is now going to try to dump civil administration of the country in the laps of a few pro-American strongmen. Iyad Alawi, quoted above, appears to be one of them. It worries me that he is always talking about the need for a new Iraqi secret police (mukhabarat). Alawi is the leader of a group of ex-Baathists sponsored by the CIA.

Then, in the Informed Comment quote of the day, Interim Governing Council member Muwaffaq al-Rubaie criticized the “American” way of doing things.

In the Los Angeles Times: On the desirability of the Interim Governing Council members serving in the new transitional government to be elected May 31, Rubaie said: “They should play a pivotal role in the next leadership. They have expertise and experience. You need continuity. We can’t have this idiotic American system of dumping everyone from their positions when a new president wins election.”

Well, so much for the prospects for democracy in Iraq. Al-Rubaie doesn’t even understand the principle of peaceful change of personnel from one administration to the next. And he is by no means the least democratically minded member of the IGC!

Someone should tell Muwaffaq that in the US, politicians often lose their jobs even within a single administration, as now seems likely to happen to the Neoconservatives in the Bush administration, according to Blogger Billmon.

And, the IGC already has substantial problems with graft. The wireless telecom contracts it gave out are under investigation for graft by the Pentagon. Agence France Presse reports that interim trade minister Ali Allawi says as much as $30 mn. may have been embezzled from payments on a contract for wooden doors.