So, I'm reading this article about the total cluelessness of the Bush foreign policy, and I came across something interesting. You know how whenever they're challenged with facts about how much worse things are in Iraq since we invaded, all the right-wingers point their purple-stained fingers to the Iraqi elections and say that's the only evidence needed that things are a million times better? Well, here's a nice response to that bullcrap:
The main thing Iraqis expressed at the ballot box was that Sunnis wanted Sunnis to rule, Shiites wanted Shiites to rule, and Kurds wanted to secede. The election, inspiring as it was to behold, served as little more than an ethnic census. In the absence of democratic institutions to mediate disputes and legitimize outcomes, it might even have hardened the social, political, and religious conflicts that are now—by the testimony of Bush's own top generals—erupting into civil war.
The emergence of democracy marks the starting point of politics. Politics by nature involves conflicts. A democracy thrives or crumbles on how well it deals with those conflicts. There is nothing inherently civilizing about holding elections—nothing unusual, much less contradictory, about a putatively democratic government embroiled in war, civil war, or chaos.
Next up, we'll try to find a nice, succinct response to the other favorite conservative argument "B-b-b-ut Clinton...!"