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From Invasion to Failed State: Iraq’s Democratic Disillusionment


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From Invasion to Failed State: Iraq’s Democratic Disillusionment

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Western-style democracy has failed Iraq, bringing a dystopian economy, an ineffectual government and more pain for its long-suffering people

.

1024px-US_Navy_031016-N-3236B-043_A_marine_patrols_the_streets_of_Al_Faw,_Iraq

US Marines patrol the streets of Al Faw, October 2003. | Public Domain

23 July 2021 (openDemocrcay)* — Iraq in 2021 is still a state afflicted by poverty, injustice, the trauma of great loss of life, and daily fear. Iraqis still suffer from a sense of powerlessness, defeat and humiliation.

 

Since the start of the year, 330 civilians have been killed, including 27 children. Iraq Body Count has now documented more than 208,800 violent civilian deaths since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, most of them occurring after the country became a democracy in 2005.

Screenshot 2021-07-19 at 14.41.17.png Annual totals of violent civilian deaths in Iraq since 2003 | Source: Iraq Body Count

Democratically elected governments in Iraq, supported by the US-UK coalition that invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003, as part of the ‘War on Terror’, have so far killed more than 4,000 Iraqi civilians through bombing and shelling aimed to destroy the insurgency and in the last years the Iraqi police force and militias it supports have killed hundreds of protesters across Iraq.

The Iraqi governments also allowed the killing of thousands more in airstrikes by Coalition and Turkish forces or Iranian-supported militias such as the Popular Mobilisation Forces.

Iraq held its first parliamentary elections in December 2005, while the country was still under US and British occupation. It was meant to hold its fifth elections a month ago, in June, but they have been delayed until mid-October, because the country’s Independent High Electoral Commission asked for more time to organise “free and fair elections“. Yet, from their very start, Iraq’s elections have been marred by violence, fraud and protests.

On 22 December 2005, after preliminary election results were announced, Sunni and Shiite factions demanded that an international body review complaints of election fraud, and threatened to boycott the new legislature. Large demonstrations broke out across the country.

Protesters said that the elections were rigged in favour of the main religious Shiite coalition. As many as 20,000 people demonstrated in Baghdad and more than 2,000 people demonstrated in Mosul, accusing Iran of involvement in the election. The results were followed by car bombings and attacks on US and Iraqi officials.

Four prime ministers have come to power in Iraq since then, and three heads of state. None of them, however, has managed to satisfy the rightful demands of the Iraqi people: to end corruption, to increase living standards, to create jobs and opportunities for an increasing number of young and educated people, and to provide security.

No country for democracy

Iraq’s devastation was not unpredictable. The neoliberal democratic system that was imposed on the country by the US and its allies could never have produced a Western-style democracy, or the outcomes expected in a developed nation.

Highly developed nations such as the UK and the US face no real threat of major war, and enjoy economic prosperity and enduring political and social stability.

Iraq, on the other hand, was – and still is – a weak state. Between 2003 and 2020, the only constants have been communal violence, terrorism, poverty, weapons proliferation, crime, political instability, social breakdown, riots, disorder and economic failure. In Iraq, we observe the lack of basic security that exists in ‘zones of instability’.

As in all weak states, the security threats facing the Iraqi population originate primarily from internal, domestic sources. In such states, the more the ruling elites try to establish effective state rule, the more they provoke insurgency. Despite it being declared a democracy, Iraq lacks security.

As in other so-called ‘liberated and democratised’ states, such as Afghanistan or Libya, those internal/domestic security threats have gone hand in hand with the threat posed by external actors and the neoliberal destruction they brought to the country.

End of which history?

On 31 May, during his Memorial Day speech, US President Joe Biden spoke about his country’s “imperfect” democracy, calling for more work to deliver the promise of “the greatest experiment” in world history.

“Democracy is more than a form of government, it’s a way of being, a way of seeing the world. Democracy means the rule of the people,” Biden said. “The struggle for democracy is taking place around the world.”

The collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago signalled the end of the Cold War, the defeat of totalitarianism and the success of the liberal democratic order.

It led to the infamous “end of history” argument expounded by American political scientist Francis Fukuyama. The USSR’s demise was a triumph for the West, a victory for liberal capitalist democracies and marked the total exhaustion of any viable alternative systems.

The pursuit of neoliberal transformation by successive Iraqi governments has produced a dystopian economy and a failed state

Democracy was declared the best form of governance, arising from 20th-century liberalism, the concept of universal human rights and people-focused security, where the state’s democratic institutions are there to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens.

Fukuyama called it “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government”.

In the 21st century, we saw the creation of new democracies through war – in Afghanistan and Iraq, following the 2001 and 2003 invasions, respectively – or through a series of popular revolts – the so-called Arab Spring, which began in 2011. Dictators and authoritarian regimes were removed and parliamentary democracies established.

However, far from reaching “the end of history”, the pursuit of neoliberal transformation by successive Iraqi governments has produced a dystopian economy and a failed state.

Protesters carrying the Iraqi flag are demanding their homeland, as their government violates and abuses their human rights and fails to provide opportunities, or social, health and educational safeguards for the nation’s children.

As security forces and anti-riot police open fire on Iraqis using live ammunition and tear gas, the people continue to demonstrate. It was thought that an Iraq free of its dictator would become a strong state, a democratic, liberal state – much like those in the so-called ‘developed world’. But Iraq has become weaker and less secure.

Liberal democracy is not so easily achieved, either through war or through revolutionary transformation. The upcoming elections are unlikely to make any difference, as Iraq’s security situation makes political participation difficult, legitimacy questionable and, due to lack of accountability, any sense of fairness next to impossible.

As for the “end of history”, it was, after all, a somewhat Eurocentric concept.

…….

*Lily Hamourtziadou is Senior Researcher for Iraq Body Count (IBC) and a Senior Lecturer in Security Studies at the Dept of Criminology at Birmingham City University.

*SOURCE: openDemocracy. Go to ORIGINAL.

2021 Human Wrongs Watch

Posted on 25/07/2021 at 09:56 in Asia, Market Lords, Middle East, Migrants and Refugees, Mother Earth, Others-USA-Europe-etc., The Peoples, War Lords   |  RSS feed |   Reply   |   Trackback URL

 

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21 hours ago, Charlie Echo said:
« Drowning – Key Facts  |  

From Invasion to Failed State: Iraq’s Democratic Disillusionment

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1 Vote

 

 

Western-style democracy has failed Iraq, bringing a dystopian economy, an ineffectual government and more pain for its long-suffering people

.

1024px-US_Navy_031016-N-3236B-043_A_marine_patrols_the_streets_of_Al_Faw,_Iraq

US Marines patrol the streets of Al Faw, October 2003. | Public Domain

23 July 2021 (openDemocrcay)* — Iraq in 2021 is still a state afflicted by poverty, injustice, the trauma of great loss of life, and daily fear. Iraqis still suffer from a sense of powerlessness, defeat and humiliation.

 

Since the start of the year, 330 civilians have been killed, including 27 children. Iraq Body Count has now documented more than 208,800 violent civilian deaths since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, most of them occurring after the country became a democracy in 2005.

Screenshot 2021-07-19 at 14.41.17.png Annual totals of violent civilian deaths in Iraq since 2003 | Source: Iraq Body Count

Democratically elected governments in Iraq, supported by the US-UK coalition that invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003, as part of the ‘War on Terror’, have so far killed more than 4,000 Iraqi civilians through bombing and shelling aimed to destroy the insurgency and in the last years the Iraqi police force and militias it supports have killed hundreds of protesters across Iraq.

The Iraqi governments also allowed the killing of thousands more in airstrikes by Coalition and Turkish forces or Iranian-supported militias such as the Popular Mobilisation Forces.

Iraq held its first parliamentary elections in December 2005, while the country was still under US and British occupation. It was meant to hold its fifth elections a month ago, in June, but they have been delayed until mid-October, because the country’s Independent High Electoral Commission asked for more time to organise “free and fair elections“. Yet, from their very start, Iraq’s elections have been marred by violence, fraud and protests.

On 22 December 2005, after preliminary election results were announced, Sunni and Shiite factions demanded that an international body review complaints of election fraud, and threatened to boycott the new legislature. Large demonstrations broke out across the country.

Protesters said that the elections were rigged in favour of the main religious Shiite coalition. As many as 20,000 people demonstrated in Baghdad and more than 2,000 people demonstrated in Mosul, accusing Iran of involvement in the election. The results were followed by car bombings and attacks on US and Iraqi officials.

Four prime ministers have come to power in Iraq since then, and three heads of state. None of them, however, has managed to satisfy the rightful demands of the Iraqi people: to end corruption, to increase living standards, to create jobs and opportunities for an increasing number of young and educated people, and to provide security.

No country for democracy

Iraq’s devastation was not unpredictable. The neoliberal democratic system that was imposed on the country by the US and its allies could never have produced a Western-style democracy, or the outcomes expected in a developed nation.

Highly developed nations such as the UK and the US face no real threat of major war, and enjoy economic prosperity and enduring political and social stability.

Iraq, on the other hand, was – and still is – a weak state. Between 2003 and 2020, the only constants have been communal violence, terrorism, poverty, weapons proliferation, crime, political instability, social breakdown, riots, disorder and economic failure. In Iraq, we observe the lack of basic security that exists in ‘zones of instability’.

As in all weak states, the security threats facing the Iraqi population originate primarily from internal, domestic sources. In such states, the more the ruling elites try to establish effective state rule, the more they provoke insurgency. Despite it being declared a democracy, Iraq lacks security.

As in other so-called ‘liberated and democratised’ states, such as Afghanistan or Libya, those internal/domestic security threats have gone hand in hand with the threat posed by external actors and the neoliberal destruction they brought to the country.

End of which history?

On 31 May, during his Memorial Day speech, US President Joe Biden spoke about his country’s “imperfect” democracy, calling for more work to deliver the promise of “the greatest experiment” in world history.

“Democracy is more than a form of government, it’s a way of being, a way of seeing the world. Democracy means the rule of the people,” Biden said. “The struggle for democracy is taking place around the world.”

The collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago signalled the end of the Cold War, the defeat of totalitarianism and the success of the liberal democratic order.

It led to the infamous “end of history” argument expounded by American political scientist Francis Fukuyama. The USSR’s demise was a triumph for the West, a victory for liberal capitalist democracies and marked the total exhaustion of any viable alternative systems.

The pursuit of neoliberal transformation by successive Iraqi governments has produced a dystopian economy and a failed state

Democracy was declared the best form of governance, arising from 20th-century liberalism, the concept of universal human rights and people-focused security, where the state’s democratic institutions are there to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens.

Fukuyama called it “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government”.

In the 21st century, we saw the creation of new democracies through war – in Afghanistan and Iraq, following the 2001 and 2003 invasions, respectively – or through a series of popular revolts – the so-called Arab Spring, which began in 2011. Dictators and authoritarian regimes were removed and parliamentary democracies established.

However, far from reaching “the end of history”, the pursuit of neoliberal transformation by successive Iraqi governments has produced a dystopian economy and a failed state.

Protesters carrying the Iraqi flag are demanding their homeland, as their government violates and abuses their human rights and fails to provide opportunities, or social, health and educational safeguards for the nation’s children.

As security forces and anti-riot police open fire on Iraqis using live ammunition and tear gas, the people continue to demonstrate. It was thought that an Iraq free of its dictator would become a strong state, a democratic, liberal state – much like those in the so-called ‘developed world’. But Iraq has become weaker and less secure.

Liberal democracy is not so easily achieved, either through war or through revolutionary transformation. The upcoming elections are unlikely to make any difference, as Iraq’s security situation makes political participation difficult, legitimacy questionable and, due to lack of accountability, any sense of fairness next to impossible.

As for the “end of history”, it was, after all, a somewhat Eurocentric concept.

…….

*Lily Hamourtziadou is Senior Researcher for Iraq Body Count (IBC) and a Senior Lecturer in Security Studies at the Dept of Criminology at Birmingham City University.

*SOURCE: openDemocracy. Go to ORIGINAL.

2021 Human Wrongs Watch

Posted on 25/07/2021 at 09:56 in Asia, Market Lords, Middle East, Migrants and Refugees, Mother Earth, Others-USA-Europe-etc., The Peoples, War Lords   |  RSS feed |   Reply   |   Trackback URL

 

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Is this article a good news for us as dinar holders? Is this the reason for holding up the rv? Is this why the iqd hasn't been revaluing for almost 18 years?

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  • yota691 changed the title to From Invasion to Failed State: Iraq’s Democratic Disillusionment
2 hours ago, rvmydinar said:

Is this article a good news for us as dinar holders? Is this the reason for holding up the rv? Is this why the iqd hasn't been revaluing for almost 18 years?

Yeah it's good news. 😜:violin::goodnews:This article is catching up to reality. Yeah, our policy was holding up the Dinar: Why? Iraq is too primitive for democracy. It was like trying to teach a bunch of cats to play Chopin. 😬😹 😹😹🎼🎹🎻:violin:

 

Americans are leaving Afghanistan 💩, neo-cons like Bush 🌳 have finally accepted they were all deluded , democracy and feminism 🙋‍♀️and women voting cannot be imposed on Islam. 🕌 We lost...or more like reality won, as it always does in the end. We believed in fairy tales. 🌈🧚‍♀️ 📙📚 America should stop 'nation building',

 

...if Muslims want girls going to school, democracy and our way of life, they must evolve that way on their own, fight for it themselves.🧙‍♂️🧚‍♀️🧚‍♀️😮

 

Most likely Iraq will very quickly go back to what it was, under Saddam. 💩 ☹️New set of thugs in charge 👺🥵🤬, our dumb fairy tale done. 😮 We have done nothing but hold up our investment, by trying to shove democracy, feminism and women voting down Islam's throat. 🕋 ...in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They don't want to be like us, never did. We were deluded.

 

Respect to the military, when all is said and done. It was a bad Bush neo-con policy mistake. :bananacamel::peace::salute:

 

However, our investment? We'll do fine. :bagofmoney:🕊️

My comment notwithstanding, the world still needs oil, Iraq still have to trade their currency. :twocents: 

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print-iconBiden Declares All US Combat Troops To Leave Iraq By End Of 2021

In a Déjà Vu foreign policy moment echoed many times before across multiple US administrations spanning back to years after the initial 2003 invasion, President Biden on Monday stated his intent to see American combat troops leave Iraq by the end of 2021.

"We are not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission," Biden said early in his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, perhaps preempting the very thing the PM was set on pushing for most.

iraqpmbiden.png?itok=OSTftr34 From Monday's meeting in the Oval Office, via Reuters.

While what's designated as "combat" troops will exit, in Washingtonspeak this of course doesn't ever actually mean all troops will exit. Biden followed with saying advisory forces will "be available to continue to train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS," according to The Wall Street Journal

"Our shared fight against ISIS is critical for the stability of the region and our counterterrorism cooperation will continue even as we shift to this new phase that we’re going to be talking about,” Biden added.

In strongly worded remarks issued early last week meant to deflect growing Shiite anger at the enduring US and foreign troop presence in the country, particularly after the January 2020 US assassination of IRGC Quds force general Qassem Soleimani and head of Iraq's powerful Kataib Hezbollah militia, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, PM Kadhimi had spelled out that the Americans have got to go.

The Iraqi PM had previewed his trip to Washington by saying: "The visit will be to set out this relationship, and to put an end to the presence of combat forces, because the Iraqi army can now fight for itself on behalf of Iraqis and the world against terrorist groups in Iraq. There is no need for combat troops." The US maintains relatively small presence of about 2,500 troops, and many more contractors - perhaps numbering multiple tens of thousands. 

The past two years have seen sporadic large-scale protests across major Iraqi cities demanding that foreign troops leave. Since then there's also been ***-for-tat attacks between pro-Iranian Iraq groups and American forces. Recently Biden has struck 'Iran-backed' targets inside eastern Syria near the Iraq border. On Monday, there was another mysterious drone attack on an Iraqi militia arms depot in Najaf, which pro-Iran groups had blamed on Israel.

Meanwhile, Monday afternoon's statement out of the White House is apparently meant to seal the deal in terms of a US combat troop exit by year's end. But whether it's been Iraq, or Afghanistan (or even Syria) over the past years, these promises and exit deadlines tend to come and go with not much changing in terms of America's presence - other than a continually unraveling security situation.

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Iraqi culture is so different from American is why democracy won't work there. Most of Iraq really does live under 7th century standards. They are use to living by a basic dictator I believe. Really sad they haven't progressed further like other parts of the middle east. The corruption is so rampant there that they should have an olympic sport for it. They'd win gold every time....

 

The people must stand up for themselves if they want to progress and catch up with the rest of civilization....

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22 hours ago, Rochester said:

Yeah it's good news. 😜:violin::goodnews:This article is catching up to reality. Yeah, our policy was holding up the Dinar: Why? Iraq is too primitive for democracy. It was like trying to teach a bunch of cats to play Chopin. 😬😹 😹😹🎼🎹🎻:violin:

 

Americans are leaving Afghanistan 💩, neo-cons like Bush 🌳 have finally accepted they were all deluded , democracy and feminism 🙋‍♀️and women voting cannot be imposed on Islam. 🕌 We lost...or more like reality won, as it always does in the end. We believed in fairy tales. 🌈🧚‍♀️ 📙📚 America should stop 'nation building',

 

...if Muslims want girls going to school, democracy and our way of life, they must evolve that way on their own, fight for it themselves.🧙‍♂️🧚‍♀️🧚‍♀️😮

 

Most likely Iraq will very quickly go back to what it was, under Saddam. 💩 ☹️New set of thugs in charge 👺🥵🤬, our dumb fairy tale done. 😮 We have done nothing but hold up our investment, by trying to shove democracy, feminism and women voting down Islam's throat. 🕋 ...in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They don't want to be like us, never did. We were deluded.

 

Respect to the military, when all is said and done. It was a bad Bush neo-con policy mistake. :bananacamel::peace::salute:

 

However, our investment? We'll do fine. :bagofmoney:🕊️

My comment notwithstanding, the world still needs oil, Iraq still have to trade their currency. :twocents: 

 

18 hours ago, Rochester said:

🤷‍♂️:peace:

 

That was me with the down vote.  Sorry.  My bad.  I fixed it. 

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Thanks for all your comments, everyone.

 

Yeah I believe we screwed up. However a couple of things:

-Americans have lost their taste for this

-it cost a lot of money and more important, lives

-the neo-cons are losing power in the Republican Party

-Americans are realizing it is children of the poor who fight wars

-Americans are realizing it is the elites who make money on war

-Eisenhower was right about all this, made his speech on Military-Industrial complex

-there really are very large cultural and religious differences that make this war a waste of time and money

-President Trump wrote an op-ed in the New York Times before the war, saying it was dumb

-populists are taking over the Republican Party, as people get sick of the neo-cons

-America doesn't need this oil anymore

 

My own view on all this is, as I get older, to have more of a "Live and let live" attitude. There are many things we don't understand, how complex they all are, it's best to leave them alone, as we don't really understand them.

 

Although all this Appears to be negative on the surface, actually below the surface it's very, very good news. The good news is, America seems to have turned the corner, learned a lot of lessons, is moving on....moving towards more of a 'live and let live attitude"....one of life's big lessons, is things to avoid, things to not say, things to not do.

 

Some people like Trump are 20 years ahead of everyone. Now everyone is catching up with him, 20 years later. It's been fun watching, but in the end the only reason I'm here is what I still believe: 

 

1 hour ago, rvmydinar said:

However, our investment? We'll do fine. :bagofmoney:🕊️

Yeah, we could not screw this up, despite our best efforts. That's my belief.

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31 minutes ago, Rochester said:

America seems to have turned the corner, learned a lot of lessons, is moving on....

I hope so, but I don’t have much faith in what politicians say. It’s all going to depend on what they actually do. Iraq really needs a strong leader to see them through all of this after the election (and no more Iranian puppets). 

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2 hours ago, Rochester said:

Yeah, we could not screw this up, despite our best efforts. That's my belief.

Yup. This investment is what we all are here for in the dinarvet to wait for the iqd to rv. We all are in the same boat.

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