“…There were three elections held. Those were a powerful demonstration of what no one is able to deny, even those who now want to turn away and give up on Iraq. Which is that the majority of the Iraqi people want a better life for themselves and their families. The majority is not involved in sectarian violence and clearly not involved in terrorism.” ~Kimberley Strassel

Everyone wants a better life for himself and his family.  That’s the most vapid thing anyone can say.  It’s right up there with “‘Everyone wants to be free” or “everyone wants to be happy.”  Well, that’s nice, but how many people know how to acquire these things?  How many people understand that you really can’t have both freedom and happiness?  But leave that for another time. 

Lieberman is whistling past the graveyard if he still insists that people should think of these elections as some sort of success.  As democratists are only too happy to point out when their democratisation empowers horrible killers and maniacs: “Elections are not the whole of democracy!”  To which I reply, “Well, okay, so stop talking about having elections as if it were proof of some success in democratisation.” 

The consequences of these elections have been dire.  They have not only politicised sectarian and ethnic identities even more than they were before, and they have not only managed to establish a Shi’ite majoritarian tyranny backed by the death squads and militias of the Shi’ite coalition parties, but the elections have created the absurd situation where the present government, our supposed ally in this conflict, depends for its existence on the political support of one of the primary causes of sectarian strife and has been entirely subservient to the interests of this sectarian faction for the past year.  Democracy, to the extent that it has actually come into existence in Iraq, has worked to the detriment of Iraq’s stability and security, and has therefore directly and negatively affected the U.S. mission in Iraq. 

Not surprisingly, holding elections in a war zone will tend to empower those who campaign on a platform of fanaticism, self-righteous anger and appeals to unity against your faction’s enemies.  Elections in such an environment are positively destabilising and dangerous.  To have three elections in the middle of the war indicates that on three separate occasions Washington foolishly treated one of the most dangerous sources of political instability as a near-panacea for the political and security ills of Iraq.  That Lieberman, at this late date, continues to repeat this nonsense suggests that he is unfit to speak on such matters.