Thursday, April 21, 2005

Puppets On A Long Leash

The tragedy for many of the new Iraqi "transitional"[*] parliament members elected (or not) in the sham elections[+] this January is to discover how much the US is still in charge, to discover that they are puppets on a long leash.

Of course, the discovery usually comes when they feel it on their own skin, rather than see it done in policy matters.

It is getting the usual treatment at the entry of ther Green Zone that upsets our shiny new MPs. US soldiers who treat any raghead as a raghead constitute a hearts-and-minds operation reminding me of Christian tales - about Satan and his little sadistic games with people who sold their souls. This story is almost comical:

“When I told the translator with the soldier that I was a member of the national assembly, he answered: To hell with you and the national assembly,” Sheikh told his colleagues.

“I got really upset, so I got down from my vehicle to confront him and at that moment a US soldier came over and grabbed my neck and choked me for a minute or so.” ...

He said he decided to get out of line and come back later when it was less crowded, but that as he began to pull out, a US soldier came over and kicked his car. “I showed him my badge, but he grabbed it from my hand and tossed it in my face,” said the bearded Sheikh. “When I got out of my car, the soldier twisted my arm.”

[*] Remember, this is only the body that is supposed to draft a constitution and name a transitional government until the 'real' elections come.

[+] To recap: under occupation, no international oversight, yet even in the little that comes out massive irregularities reported, widespread pressure on voters reported; most contesters unknown (only numbers), most contesters without media access, choice thwarthed within Shi'a Arab and Kurdish communities by multy-party lists with pre-set quotas, clear occupation opponents arrested and their offices rampaged by US army; election rules designed by the Bremer admin and the parties in the US-selected Governing Council, elected bodies bound by further rules of the same, while the US retains military control and indirect control of ministeries through delegated 'experts', and so on...


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