Need to look at Bush’s Doctrine for Democracy |

Need to look at Bush’s Doctrine for Democracy

There is no doubt that the sight of Iraqi citizens voting brought happiness to every American that values democracy. There is also no doubt that President Bush and his administration will seek to persuade the public that because Iraq has voted, their decision to go to war has been vindicated.

My fear is that Americans will too quickly accept the Iraqi elections as vindication for everything this administration has done wrong. Before we all jump on the “vindication bandwagon,” let us first examine the process which has led to the voting of the Iraqi citizens. We must examine the means by which these ends were reached. For if the people of our country accept the means by which democracy has been sought after in Iraq, then we accept the prospect of this process being repeated by our administration in other countries like Iran, North Korea and Syria.

Once again, the age-old question of “Whether the ends justify the means” must not be ignored. What “means” does the Bush Doctrine for Democracy entail? Under the Bush Doctrine for Democracy, the American people must be confused into thinking that Iraq attacked us on 9/11.

Propaganda and lies must be used to scare the American people in order to coax them into supporting a pre-emptive invasion of a country that is not a threat to us. As the propaganda and lies are revealed, the rationale and reasoning behind the war can simply be changed. If anyone questions or points out the fallacies behind the rationale of the war, it is imperative that they are labeled “traitors.” Under the Bush Doctrine for Democracy, no estimates on civilian casualties in Iraq can ever be released, and when soldiers die, relentlessly tell their families that they died “fighting terrorists in Iraq so we don’t have to fight them at home.”

When it comes to economics, tell the American people that everyone must sacrifice during a time of war. Then give the wealthiest Americans a $350 billion tax cut and shift the burden of the war’s costs on the “common” taxpayers, whose $600 child tax credit was spent on higher gas and energy costs. As taxes are cut for the wealthy and necessary social programs are cut for our neediest citizens, make sure to ask Congress to allocate over $187 billion for the war in Iraq.

When legislators threaten to not approve the money unless more accountability is provided concerning how it will be spent, just label them “traitors” again. After that, ask for $80 billion more, but still don’t guarantee that our troops will get body armor. Since the majority of our military is now privatized, it is vital that all contractors are protected from the government by passing a bill through Congress that makes it illegal for our government to file criminal charges against companies that use war profiteering tactics to defraud the U.S. military.

That way, companies like Halliburton can overcharge the military by more than 200 percent for gasoline, by $300 million for meals they didn’t serve, and by approximately $1 billion in charges that are not yet accounted for. Under the Bush Doctrine for Democracy, these companies must be protected so that they cannot only continue to receive no-bid, multibillion dollar contracts and get away with war profiteering, but they can do so with Congress’ blessing.

Finally, as Iraq slips into chaos and the people turn out to vote amidst bombs exploding and bullets flying, amidst a lack of running water and sufficient energy sources, amidst a collapsed economy and a crushed infrastructure, simply wave the American flag before the American people and call it “vindication.”

In the end, Democrats and Republicans alike will celebrate the voting of the people of Iraq. But don’t be quick to judge those that don’t see this as vindication for our administration. We are not haters of democracy. It is because we love democracy that we are disgusted with the process by which it has been sought in Iraq. It is because we love democracy that we loathe the thought that this doctrine may be used again to promote freedom elsewhere.

As a democratic people, we must have enough discernment to separate the hints of democracy in Iraq from the process by which it is being achieved. For democracy is ultimately good, but this doctrine for democracy is not. Let us all celebrate the hope for democracy in Iraq, but let us be careful not to vindicate the reckless way in which it has been pursued. For if we do, be assured, this history will repeat itself.


Shane Valdez lives in Grass Valley, and his articles can be read on his Web site at You can e-mail him at

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