The War Crime to Come

From Holden:

Elections in Iraq on Sunday you say? Evil, dishonest exercise in cynicism I say.

On Sunday, thousands of Iraqis will line up to be slaughtered by suicide bombers, mortar fire, RPGs and snipers. Iraqi policemen, soldiers and guardsmen will die in bunches, as will U.S. soldiers.

Scores will die, for what? A sham election that seeks to cast an aura of legitimacy around American hegemony over the second largest known source of oil in the world. The lucky few who live to mark their bloodstained ballots will be casting futile votes, as the 275 assembly members have already been selected by their American overlords.

Free and open elections cannot be held under a hostile occupation. The occupation itself renders the election null and void.

Is this democracy? Is there a precedent, anywhere in the history of democracy, for an election in which the candidates campaign in secret, where the candidates’ names were not released for public scrutiny until the election was five days away?

Is this democracy? In what democracy are soldiers of the hostile occupation army enlisted in get-out-the-vote canvassing, efforts in which they give up their lives each and every day?

A president who cannot be bothered to pay hommage to the 37 soldiers who died on the worst day in Iraq for U.S. forces will cynically sit back on Sunday as the carnage unfolds, then proclaim “victory” because an “election” was held. But Iraq will be no closer to being a democracy than it was a day, a week, a year, or a decade before.