Saturday, January 08, 2005

Jan 8 Opinion round-up

The elections in occupied Iraq, scheduled to take place on January 30, are looming as a political debacle for the Bush administration. The US objectives are being thwarted by the mass opposition to the American presence in the country and the entrenched insurgency against the occupation. [...] Washington's ambition is to produce a puppet government with enough domestic and international legitimacy to be able to sign off on the real aims of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. These include the establishment of long-term military bases in the Iraq, from which the US can exert strategic hegemony over the Middle East, and the sale to American corporate interests of Iraq's state-owned oil industry—which controls the world's second-largest oil reserves. (James Cogan, via World Socialist Web Site)

Asking someone whether he or she is Shiite, Sunni or Kurd was once taboo in Iraq. Iraq was one country, bound through wars and dictatorship, not a nation of divided sects or ethnic groups, came the standard answer. But that national identity has been breaking down in the parliamentary election campaign. In the absence of political ideologies or competing policy agendas, the nation's newly formed political parties are increasingly depending on religious and ethnic labels to help voters distinguish among them. (Nancy Youssef, via Knight-Ridder newspapers, via Kansas City Star)

Will elections make a differ ence in Iraq? Iraq has become not only a battleground between democracy and terror, but also empire says Mark LeVine. (Middle East Online)

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