Saturday, February 12, 2005

What they really voted for

The Nation has an article ("Getting the Purple Finger") by Naomi Klein that details what the Iraqi people really voted for.

The election results are in: Iraqis voted overwhelmingly to throw out the US-installed government of Iyad Allawi, who refused to ask the United States to leave. A decisive majority voted for the United Iraqi Alliance; the second plank in the UIA platform calls for "a timetable for the withdrawal of the multinational forces from Iraq."

There are more single-digit messages embedded in the winning coalition's platform. Some highlights: "Adopting a social security system under which the state guarantees a job for every fit Iraqi...and offers facilities to citizens to build homes." The UIA also pledges "to write off Iraq's debts, cancel reparations and use the oil wealth for economic development projects." In short, Iraqis voted to repudiate the radical free-market policies imposed by former chief US envoy Paul Bremer and locked in by a recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

Do you think these things are going to happen? Bush rejected a timetable out of hand. So did Blair. As far as debt relief and guaranteed jobs go, I'm not holding my breath.

It's a good article about the election and how the American press covered it.

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