Bush, Hitchens and Democracy in Iraq

This is the democracy that Bush has bestowed upon Iraq: Armed thugs from the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq -- a fundamentalist group nurtured and suckled in Iran by the Ayatollah Khomeini -- entered the office of Baghdad's mayor, Alaa al-Tamimi, yesterday and summarily removed him, at gunpoint, from his post. Then they replaced them with their own man. Now the Iraqi capital can look forward to the same kind of harsh, fundamentalist rule now gracing the streets of Basra, where death squads and religious enforcers prowl the streets, enforcing Taliban-like repression.

The new "democratic" government has acquiesced in the armed removal of Baghdad's mayor -- and why not? The government is largely controlled by fundamentalists of the same kidney. This is the government that has the full backing of George W. Bush. This is what tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians -- and more than 1,800 American soldiers -- have died for: the installation of Khomeini's disciples as the overlords of Iran.

Of course, the removed mayor was himself installed at the point of gun: appointed by American viceroy Jerry Bremer in the aftermath of the illegal invasion. Thus the SCIRI gunmen were merely emulating the Dear Leader's own unique understanding of the democratic process.

Parenthetically, we note that the fulminating irrelevancy known as Christopher Hitchens was, well, fulminating recently about the lack of "leftist" support for democracy in Iraq. His example was this same unfortunate American-appointed al-Tamimi. Hitchen's main point -- as far as one could be discerned -- was that everyone who opposes the illegal invasion of Iraq is somehow a supporter of "Islamofacism" and is therefore directly responsible for the spread of murderous obscurantism throughout the conquered land.

The truth of course is that before the invasion, the only known Islamic terrorist group active in Iraq was operating in Kurdish-controlled territory -- the al-Zarqawi band. We now know that Bush had several opportunities to strike at the group before the invasion (after all, the US could operate with complete freedom in the Kurdish zone) -- but he chose not to, because it would have hampered his propaganda campaign for the invasion of Iraq. How could he have tied his invasion to the "war on terrorism" if the American people found out that the only terrorist group in Iraq was operating on territory outside Saddam's control?

Bush's invasion has set al-Zarqawi and other Islamist terrorists free to roam the entire country; it has supplied them with an ever-increasing pool of recruits, as confirmed by the Pentagon, the UK military, the CIA and British intelligence; and it has given repressive Islamic fundamentalists control over the Iraqi government.

So tell us again, Mr. Hitchens: Who is directly responsible for the spread of murderous obscurantism, harsh repression and "Islamofascism" throughout Iraq? Those who opposed the invasion that unleashed all this hell – or those who championed it?