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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

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 CIA plan to buy Iraq elections

Time Magazine reports that the Bush administration had a plan to use the Central Intelligence Agency to funnel money to candidates it favored in the forthcoming Iraqi elections.

This plan was derailed by the intervention of Democratic Minority Leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, who remonstrated with National Security Adviser Condaleeza Rice about it.

I completely agree with Juan Cole's take on this sad idea:
[T]his sort of behavior by the Bush administration fatally undermines the ideal of democracy in the Middle East. If Muslims think that "democracy" is a stalking horse for CIA control of their country, then they will flee the system and prefer independent-minded strongmen that denounce the US. The constitutional monarchies established in the Middle East by the British were similarly undermined in the popular imagination by the impression they gave of being mere British puppets. This was true of the Wafd Party in Egypt in the 1940s and early 1950s, which the Free Officers overthrew in 1952 in the name of national indepencence. It was also true in Iraq, where in 1958 popular mobs dragged the corpse of the pro-British Prime Minister Nuri al-Said through the streets and finished off the British-installed monarchy.

They lied about WMD's. They lied about connections to terrorists. They lied about not having any intent to invade Iraq before September 11th. They lied about the length of the war. They lied about the nationality of the people who are in the Iraqi insurgency. Now they are also lying about their desire to see democratic elections in Iraq.

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