Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Responding to his electorate

So, US Democrats are outraged at Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's opposition to the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, asking "which side is he on in the war on terror?" The answer is his peoples'; al-Maliki is accurately representing the views of his electorate, who like the Lebanese have firsthand experience of what it is like to be pulverised by American-made bombs and artillery shells and collectively punished by an occupying army for the actions of a few among them (see Fallujah). Those US Senators are responding to their electorates too, but the stakes are rather higher for al-Maliki. If Harry Reid or Dick Durbin annoy their voters, then given the benefits of incumbency in the US political system, the worst they'll have to do is raise some more cash to buy some more attack spots whenever they're next up for re-election. Wheras al-Maliki could literally find himself strung up as a collaborator.

Of course, the US didn't spend billions of dollars and 2,500 American lives to have an Iraqi leader who represents his electorate - and one of the Senators is even explicit about it:

"Part of the reason that America was sold on Iraq was to have a staunch ally in the region -- a democratic ally that would back our policies," Schumer said.

Well, it looks like the Iraqis don't want to be the US's clients and faithfully spout the party line whenever America wants them to. So what is the US going to do about it? Bomb them?


I like how they put "aggression" in quotation marks. Of course it is agression you can argue if it is justified or not bot it sure as hell is aggression.
however "I will lose a lot of confidence in al-Maliki if he does not denounce what Hezbollah has done."
is reasonable. the hezbollah is worthy of denouncing.

McCain however is very cool
"I don't like them either, but he's entitled to them," McCain said. Maybe he wil be the next president! (ok fat chance the republicans will elect him but oh well)...

Posted by Genius : 7/26/2006 06:09:00 PM

Iraqi politicians will respond to voters and potential voters just like politicians in any secret ballot voting system.

Shii'a in Iraq see and watch the U.S. plan for a "new" Middle East (which involves demolishing just recently won justice for Shiia in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Iran) and they'll vote for Iraqi politicians that oppose the U.S. "new Middle East agenda".

So we can expect a complete break in relations between Iraqi Shiia parties and the U.S. administration (Republican or Democrat) as we get closer to elections in Iraq.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/26/2006 06:12:00 PM

The "Liberal" party in our own country, ACT, busy defending crimes against humanity in Parliament today.

ACT thinks Israel Defence Force perfectly justified. Meanwhile, the War on Terror continues today, with Israeli forces killing seven Palestinians, including a three-year-old girl, in two attacks on northern Gaza...

Posted by Anonymous : 7/26/2006 06:18:00 PM

Mr Hide should get reading about what is actually happening there, he'd be shocked: 25 July 2006:

"Israel has used artillery-fired cluster munitions in populated areas of Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said today....Cluster munitions are unacceptably inaccurate and unreliable weapons when used around civilians," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "They should never be used in populated areas...Human Rights Watch called upon the Israel Defense Forces to immediately cease the use of indiscriminate weapons like cluster munitions in Lebanon..."


Israel used cluster munitions in Lebanon in 1978 and in the 1980s. At that time, the United States placed restrictions on their use and then a moratorium on the transfer of cluster munitions to Israel out of concern for civilian casualties. Those weapons used more than two decades ago continue to affect Lebanon.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/26/2006 08:21:00 PM

I'm reminded of the experience of the 4th Labour government when they declared New Zealand nuclear-free.

The US isn't very good at acknowleging the right of democratically elected governments to have their own opinions. And that's across small cultural divides.

I'm with the UN guy who said that there is something very wrong with an armed conflict in which more children die than armed combattants. That goes for both sides in this.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/31/2006 12:28:00 AM