THE TAIF AGREEMENT
1 First, General Principles and Reforms:
1.1 I. General Principles:
1.1.1 A. [Sovereignity]
1.1.2 B. [Identity]
1.1.3 C. [System of Government]
1.1.4 D. [Democracy]
1.1.5 E. [Economic System]
1.1.6 F. [Development]
1.1.7 G. [Social Justice]
1.1.8 H. [Unity]
1.2 II. Political Reforms
1.2.1 A. Chamber of Deputies:
1.2.2 B. President of Republic:
1.2.3 C. Prime Minister:
1.2.4 D. Cabinet:
1.2.5 E. Minister:
1.2.6 F. Cabinet Resignation, Considering Cabinet Retired, and Dismissal of Ministers:
1.2.7 G. Abolition of Political Sectarianism:
1.3 III. Other Reforms:
1.3.1 A. Administrative Decentralism:
1.3.2 B. Courts:
1.3.3 C.[Judicial Independence]
1.3.4 D. Parliamentary Election Law:
1.3.5 E. Creation of a socioeconomic council for development:
1.3.6 F. Education:
1.3.7 G. Information:
2 Second, spreading the sovereignty of the State of Lebanon over all Lebanese territories:
2.1 A. Disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias shall be announced.
2.2 B. The internal security forces shall be strengthened through:
2.3 C. Strengthening the armed forces:
2.4 D. [Lebanese Evacuees]
3 Third, liberating Lebanon from the Israeli occupation:
3.1 A. Efforts to implement resolution 425
3.2 B. Adherence to the truce agreement concluded on 23 March 1949.
3.3 C. [Israeli Occupation]
4 Fourth, Lebanese-Syrian Relations:
First, General Principles and Reforms:
I. General Principles:
Lebanon is a sovereign, free, and independent country and a final homeland for all its citizens.
Lebanon is Arab in belonging and identity. It is an active and founding member of the Arab League and is committed to the league's charter. It is an active and founding member of the United Nations Organization and is committed to its charters. Lebanon is a member of the nonaligned movement.
The state of Lebanon shall embody these principles in all areas and spheres, without exception.
C. [System of Government]
Lebanon is a democratic parliamentary republic founded on respect for public liberties, especially the freedom of expression and belief, on social justice, and on equality in rights and duties among all citizens, without discrimination or preference.
The people are the source of authority. They are sovereign and they shall exercise their sovereignty through the constitutional institutions.
E. [Economic System]
The economic system is a free system that guarantees individual initiative and private ownership.
Culturally, socially, and economically-balanced development is a mainstay of the state's unity and of the system's stability.
G. [Social Justice]
Efforts (will be made) to achieve comprehensive social justice through fiscal, economic, and social reform.
Lebanon's soil is united and it belongs to all the Lebanese. Every Lebanese is entitled to live in and enjoy any part of the country under the supremacy of the law. The people may not be categorized on the basis of any affiliation whatsoever and there shall be no fragmentation, no partition, and no repatriation [of Palestinians in Lebanon].
No authority violating the common co-existence charter shall be legitimate
II. Political Reforms
A. Chamber of Deputies:
The Chamber of Deputies is the legislative authority which exercises full control over government policy and activities.
1. The Chamber spokesman and his deputy shall be elected for the duration of the chamber's term.
2. In the first session, two years after it elects its speaker and deputy speaker, the chamber my vote only once to withdraw confidence from its speaker or deputy speaker with a 2/3 majority of its members and in accordance with a petition submitted by at least 10 deputies. In case confidence is withdrawn, the chamber shall convene immediately to fill the vacant post.
3. No urgent bill presented to the Chamber of Deputies may be issued unless it is included in the agenda of a public session and read in such a session, and unless the grace period stipulated by the constitution passes without a resolution on such a bill with the approval of the cabinet.
4. The electoral district shall be the governorate.
5. Until the Chamber of Deputies passes an election law free of sectarian restriction, the parliamentary seats shall be divided according to the following bases:
a. Equally between Christians and Muslims.
b. Proportionately between the denominations of each sect.
c. Proportionately between the districts.
6. The number of members of the Chamber of Deputies shall be increased to 108, shared equally between Christians and Muslims. As for the districts created on the basis of this document and the districts whose seats became vacant prior to the proclamation of this document, their seats shall be filled only once on an emergency basis through appointment by the national accord government that is planned to be formed.
7. With the election of the first Chamber of Deputies on a national, not sectarian, basis, a senate shall be formed and all the spiritual families shall be represented in it. The senate powers shall be confined to crucial issues.
B. President of Republic:
The president of republic is the head of the state and a symbol of the country's unity. He shall contribute to
enhancing the constitution and to preserving Lebanon's independence, unity, and territorial integrity in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. He is the supreme commander of the armed forces which are subject to the power of the cabinet. The president shall exercise the following powers:
1. Head the cabinet [meeting] whenever he wishes, but without voting.
2. Head the Supreme Defense Council.
3. Issues decrees and demand their publication. He shall also be entitled to ask the cabinet to reconsider any resolution it makes within 15 days of the date of deposition of the resolution with the presidential office. Should the cabinet insist on the adopted resolution, or should the grace period pass without issuing and returning the decree, the decree of the resolution shall be valid and must be published.
4. Promulgate laws in accordance with the grace period stipulated by the constitution and demand their publication upon ratification by the Chamber of Deputies. After notifying the cabinet, also request reexamination of the laws within the grace periods provided by the constitution, and in accordance with the articles of the constitution. In case the laws are not issued or returned before the end of the grace periods, they shall be valid by law and they must be published.
5. Refer the bills presented to him by the Chamber of Deputies.
6. Name the prime minister-designate in consultation with the Chamber of Deputies speaker on the basis of binding parliamentary consultation, the outcome of which the president shall officially familiarize the speaker on.
7. Issue the decree appointing the prime minister independently.
8. On agreement with the prime minister, issue the decree forming the cabinet.
9. Issue decrees accepting the resignation of the cabinet or of cabinet ministers and decrees relieving them from their duties.
10. Appoint ambassadors, accept the accreditation of ambassadors, and award state medals by decree.
11. On agreement with the prime minister, negotiate on the conclusion and signing of international treaties which shall become valid only upon approval by the cabinet. The cabinet shall familiarize the Chamber of Deputies with such treaties when the country's interest and state safety make such familiarization possible. As for treaties involving conditions concerning state finances, trade treaties, and other treaties, which may not be abrogated annually, they may not be concluded without Chamber of Deputies' approval.
12. When the need arises, address messages to the Chamber of Deputies.
13. On agreement with the prime minister, summon the Chamber of Deputies to hold special sessions by decree.
14. The president of the republic is entitled to present to the cabinet any urgent issue beyond the agenda.
15. On agreement with the prime minister, call the cabinet to hold a special session whenever he deems it necessary.
16. Grant special pardon by decree.
17. In the performance of his duty, the president shall not be liable bunless he violates the constitution or commits high treason.
C. Prime Minister:
The prime minister is the head of the government. He represents it and speaks in its name. He is responsible for implementing the general policy drafted by the cabinet. The prime minister shall exercise the following powers:
1. Head the cabinet.
2. Hold parliamentary consultations to form the cabinet and co-sign with the president the decree forming it. The cabinet shall submit its cabinet statement to the Chamber of Deputies for a vote of confidence within 30 days [of its formation]. The cabinet may not exercise its powers before gaining the confidence, after its resignation, or when it is considered retired, except within the narrow sense of disposing of affairs.
3. Present the government's general policy to the Chamber of Deputies.
4. Sign all decrees, except for decrees naming the prime minister and decrees accepting cabinet resignation or considering it retired.
5. Sign the decree calling for a special session and decrees issuing laws and requesting the reexamination of laws.
6. Summon the cabinet to meet, draft its agenda, familiarize the president of the republic in advance with the issues included in the agenda and with the urgent issues to be discussed, and sign the usual session minutes.
7. Observe the activities of the public departments and institutions, coordinate between the ministers, and issue general instructions to ensure the smooth progress of work.
8. Hold working sessions with the state agencies concerned in the presence of the minister concerned.
9. By law, act as the Supreme Defense Council's deputy chairman.
[ No item 1. as published ]
2. Watch over the implementation of laws and regulations and supervise the activities of all the state agencies without exception, including the civilian, military, and security departments and institutions.
3. The cabinet is the authority which controls the armed forces.
4. Appoint, dismiss, and accept the resignation of state employees in accordance with the law.
5. It has the right to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies at the request of the president of the republic if the chamber refuses to meet throughout an ordinary or a special session lasting no less than one month, even though it is summoned twice consecutively, or if the chamber sends back the budget in its entirety with the purpose of paralyzing the government. This right may not be exercised again for the same reasons which called for dissolving the chamber in the first instance.
6. When the president of the republic is present, he heads cabinet sessions. The cabinet shall meet periodically at special headquarters. The legal quorum for a cabinet meeting is 2/3 the cabinet members. The cabinet shall adopt its resolutions by consent. If impossible, then by vote. The resolutions shall be adopted by a majority of the members present. As for major issues, they require the approval of 2/3 the cabinet members. The following shall be considered major issues: The state of emergency and it abolition, war and peace, general mobilization, international agreements and treaties, the state's general budget, comprehensive and long-term development plans, the appointment of top-level civil servants or their equivalent, reexamination of the administrative division, dissolving the Chamber of Deputies, the election law, the citizenship law, the personal status laws, and the dismissal of cabinet ministers.
The minister's powers shall be reinforced in a manner compatible with the government's general policy and with the principle of collective responsibility. A minister shall not be relieved from his position unless by cabinet decree or unless the Chamber of Deputies withdraws its confidence from him individually.
F. Cabinet Resignation, Considering Cabinet Retired, and Dismissal of Ministers:
1. The cabinet shall be considered retired in the following cases:
a. If its chairman resigns.
b. If it looses more than 1/3 of its members as determined by the decree forming it.
c. If its chairman dies.
d. At the beginning of a president's term.
e. At the beginning of the Chamber of Deputies' term.
f. When the Chamber of Deputies withdraws its confidence from it on an initiative by the chamber itself and on the basis of a vote of confidence.
2. A minister shall be relieved by a decree signed by the president of the republic and the prime minister, with cabinet approval.
3. When the cabinet resigns or is considered retired, the Chamber of Deputies shall, by law, be considered to be convened in a special session until a new cabinet is formed. A vote-of-confidence session shall follow.
G. Abolition of Political Sectarianism:
Abolishing political sectarianism is a fundamental national objective. To achieve it, it is required that efforts be made in accordance with a phased plan. The Chamber of Deputies elected on the basis of equal sharing by Christians and Muslims shall adopt the proper measures to achieve this objective and to form a national council which is headed by the president of the republic and which includes, in addition to the prime minister and the Chamber of Deputies speaker, political, intellectual, and social notables. The council's task will be to examine and propose the means capable of abolishing sectarianism, to present them to the Chamber of Deputies and the cabinet, and to observe implementation of the phased plan. The following shall be done in the interim period:
a. Abolish the sectarian representation base and rely on capability and specialization in public jobs, the judiciary, the military, security, public, and joint institutions, and in the independent agencies in accordance with the dictates of national accord, excluding the top-level jobs and equivalent jobs which shall be shared equally by Christians and Muslims without allocating any particular job to any sect.
b. Abolish the mention of sect and denomination on the identity card.
III. Other Reforms:
A. Administrative Decentralism:
1. The State of Lebanon shall be a single and united state with a strong central authority.
2. The powers of the governors and district administrative officers shall be expanded and all state administrations shall be represented in the administrative provinces at the highest level possible so as to facilitate serving the citizens and meeting their needs locally.
3. The administrative division shall be recognized in a manner that emphasizes national fusion within the framework of preserving common coexistence and unity of the soil, people, and institutions.
4. Expanded administrative decentralization shall be adopted at the level of the smaller administrative units [ district and smaller units ] through the election of a council, headed by the district officer, in every district, to ensure local participation.
5. A comprehensive and unified development plan capable of developing the provinces economically and socially shall be adopted and the resources of the municipalities, unified municipalities, and municipal unions shall be reinforced with the necessary financial resources.
 To guarantee that all officials and citizens are subject to the supremacy of the law and to insure harmony between the action of the legislative and executive authorities on the one hand, and the givens of common coexistence and the basic rights of the Lebanese as stipulated in the constitution on the other hand:
1. The higher council which is stipulated by the constitution and whose task it is to try presidents and ministers shall be formed. A special law on the rules of trial before this council shall be promulgated.
2. A constitutional council shall be created to interpret the constitution, to observe the constitutionality of the laws, and to settle disputes and contests emanating from presidential and parliamentary elections.
3. The following authorities shall be entitled to revise the constitutional council in matters pertaining to interpreting the constitution and observing the constitutionality of the laws:
a. The president of the republic.
b. The Chamber of Deputies speaker.
c. The prime minister.
d. A certain percentage of members of the Chamber of Deputies.
 To ensure the principle of harmony between religion and state, the heads of the Lebanese sects may revise the constitutional council in matters pertaining to:
1. Personal status affairs.
2. Freedom of religion and the practice of religious rites.
3. Freedom of religious education.
To ensure the judiciary's independence, a certain number of the Higher Judiciary Council shall be elected by the judiciary body.
D. Parliamentary Election Law:
Parliamentary elections shall be held in accordance with a new law on the basis of provinces and in the light of rules that guarantee common coexistence between the Lebanese, and that ensure the sound and efficient political representation of all the people's factions and generations. This shall be done after reviewing the administrative division within the context of unity of the people, the land, and the institutions.
E. Creation of a socioeconomic council for development:
A socioeconomic council shall be created to insure that representatives of the various sectors participate in drafting the state's socioeconomic policy and providing advice and proposals.
1. Education shall be provided to all and shall be made obligatory for the elementary stage at least.
2. The freedom of education shall be emphasized in accordance with general laws and regulations.
3. Private education shall be protected and state control over private schools and textbooks shall be strengthened.
4. Official, vocational, and technological education shall be reformed, strengthened, and developed in a manner that meets the country's development and reconstruction needs. The conditions of the Lebanese University shall be reformed and aid shall be provided to the university, especially to its technical colleges.
5. The curricula shall be reviewed and developed in a manner that strengthens national belonging, fusion, spiritual and cultural openness, and that unifies textbooks on the subjects of history and national education.
All the information media shall be reorganized under the canopy of the law and within the framework of responsible liberties that serve the cautious tendencies and the objective of ending the state of war.
Second, spreading the sovereignty of the State of Lebanon over all Lebanese territories:
Considering that all Lebanese factions have agreed to the establishment of a strong state founded on the basis of national accord, the national accord government shall draft a detailed one-year plan whose objective is to spread the sovereignty of the State of Lebanon over all Lebanese territories gradually with the state's own forces. The broad lines of the plan shall be as follows:
A. Disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias shall be announced.
The militias' weapons shall be delivered to the State of Lebanon within a period of 6 months, beginning with the approval of the national accord charter. The president of the republic shall be elected. A national accord cabinet shall be formed, and the political reforms shall be approved constitutionally.
B. The internal security forces shall be strengthened through:
1. Opening the door of voluntarism to all the Lebanese without exception, beginning the training of volunteers centrally, distributing the volunteers to the units in the governorates, and subjecting them to organized periodic training courses.
2. Strengthening the security agency to insure control over the entry and departure of individuals into and out of the country by land, air, and sea.
C. Strengthening the armed forces:
1. The fundamental task of the armed forces is to defend the homeland, and if necessary, protect public order when the danger exceeds the capability of the internal security forces to deal with such a danger on their own.
2. The armed forces shall be used to support the internal security forces in preserving security under conditions determined by the cabinet.
3. The armed forces shall be unified, prepared, and trained in order that they may be able to shoulder their national responsibilities in confronting Israeli aggression.
4. When the internal security forces become ready to assume their security tasks, the armed forces shall return to their barracks.
5. The armed forces intelligence shall be reorganized to serve military objectives exclusively.
D. [Lebanese Evacuees]
The problem of the Lebanese evacuees shall be solved fundamentally, and the right of every Lebanese evicted since 1975 to return to the place from which he was evicted shall be established. Legislation to guarantee this right and to insure the means of reconstruction shall be issued. Considering that the objective of the State of Lebanon is to spread its authority over all the Lebanese territories through its own forces, represented primarily by the internal security forces, and in view of the fraternal relations binding Syria to Lebanon, the Syrian forces shall thankfully assist the forces of the legitimate Lebanese government to spread the authority of the State of Lebanon within a set period of no more than 2 years, beginning with ratification of the national accord charter, election of the president of the republic, formation of the national accord cabinet, and approval of the political reforms constitutionally. At the end of this period, the two governments -- the Syrian Government and the Lebanese National Accord Government -- shall decide to redeploy the Syrian forces in Al-Biq'a area from Dahr al-Baydar to the Hammana-al-Mudayrij-'Ayn Darah line, and if necessary, at other points to be determined by a joint Lebanese-Syrian military committee. An agreement shall also be concluded by the two governments to determine the strength and duration of the presence of Syrian forces in the above-mentioned area and to define these forces' relationship with the Lebanese state authorities where the forces exist. The Arab Tripartite Committee is prepared to assist the two states, if they so wish, to develop this agreement.
Third, liberating Lebanon from the Israeli occupation:
Regaining state authority over the territories extending to the internationally-recognized Lebanese borders requires the following:
A. Efforts to implement resolution 425
and the other UN Security Council resolutions calling for fully eliminating the Israeli occupation.
B. Adherence to the truce agreement concluded on 23 March 1949.
C. [Israeli Occupation]
Taking all the steps necessary to liberate all Lebanese territories from the Israeli occupation, to spread state sovereignty over all the territories, and to deploy the Lebanese army in the border area adjacent to Israel; and making efforts to reinforce the presence of the UN forces in South Lebanon to insure the Israeli withdrawal and to provide the opportunity for the return of security and stability to the border area.
Fourth, Lebanese-Syrian Relations:
Lebanon, with its Arab identity, is tied to all the Arab countries by true fraternal relations. Between Lebanon and Syria there is a special relationship that derives its strength from the roots of blood relationships, history, and joint fraternal interests. This is the concept on which the two countries' coordination and cooperation is founded, and which will be embodied by the agreements between the two countries in all areas, in a manner that accomplishes the two fraternal countries' interests within the framework of the sovereignty and independence of each of them. Therefore, and because strengthening the bases of security creates the climate needed to develop these bonds, Lebanon should not be allowed to constitute a source of threat to Syria's security, and Syria should not be allowed to constitute a source of threat to Lebanon's security under any circumstances. Consequently, Lebanon should not allow itself to become a pathway or a base for any force, state, or organization seeking to undermine its security or Syria's security. Syria, which is eager for Lebanon's security, independence, and unity and for harmony among its citizens, should not permit any act that poses a threat to Lebanon's security, independence, and sovereignty. To return to IRAQ4EVER
I like to read Malcom Lagauche site! He is one of the best analysts on the war on Iraq events. This article should be read by all Iraqi people to know the background of the betrader Alawi, who has been left as a dog in a cold night! If you are interested in the Arabic translation of this article, then use this link to read it in Arabic:
LEFT OUT IN THE COLD
When Ayad Allawi was appointed interim Iraqi Prime Minister last year, everyone in the U.S. administration feigned surprise. Nobody had heard of him as a front-runner. However, in reality, this was the U.S. stealth choice for the position.
Allawi, living in London, began a relationship with the CIA in the 1980s. By 1995, Allawi’s group, the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), comprised mostly of people who never lived in Iraq, was called upon by the masters in Washington to stage a coup to overthrow the Ba’athist government, beginning with the assassination of Saddam Hussein.
For about six months, the INA conducted terrorist attacks inside Iraq, killing more than 100 civilians. The Ba’athists soon found out who was behind the violence and took appropriate measures. The Iraqi government also discovered the next step and that the largest CIA operation in the world was right under their noses, in the U.S.-protected north of Iraq, in the city of Erbil.
Iraqi forces destroyed the CIA hideout. But, Allawi had fled with the protection of the U.S. If you remember, Clinton ordered a few missiles to be fired at the south of Iraq in retaliation for Iraqi troop movements north. At the time, it did not make sense, but it was a strategy designed to keep the CIA operation in the north a secret.
One humorous incident occurred during this time. The CIA office in Jordan was awaiting information from Iraq concerning the Iraqi troops. It did not realize that the operation had been found. In Jordan, the CIA office called the Iraqi CIA operation headquarters in Erbil. When the call was answered, an Iraqi officer stated, "Gotcha!"
Shortly after, the U.S. called off its operations to assassinate Saddam Hussein. The Clinton administration kept the rhetoric flowing and attempted to tighten the embargo as means of "containing" Iraq.
Allawi is about the least-respected person in Iraq. Everybody hates him. Most Iraqis, pro and anti-Saddam, consider him a foreigner who worked against the country from outside.
The recent "elections," as fraudulent as they were, showed one aspect the voters overwhelmingly rejected Allawi. His slate only received 14% of the vote.
Now, Allawi is warning of a religious future for Iraq and says that it could be devastating. He even acknowledges that if he loses the office of prime minister, he will have to leave Iraq. At least he is smart enough to know his life would be measured in minutes once the U.S. does not give him 24-hour protection.
What’s next for Iraq? An Islamic republic? Who know? Check out this website (www.sistani.org) and you can see for yourselves what Sistani, the most powerful man in today’s Iraq after the elections, has to say. It’s not pretty. Chess is forbidden; a man and a woman can not shake hands, etc.
The U.S. did not bargain for an Islamic Iraq. They bought off the clerics at first, but now even the Shi’ite segment of the country is telling the U.S. to leave. Of course, there are no plans for an exit.
The resistance has not stopped a beat. Today, as I write this column, it has been reported that four U.S. soldiers have been killed in fighting and almost 40 Shi’ite worshippers were killed in mosques. The resistance is expanding its front.
When the Shi’ites take aim at the U.S., it will really be ugly with two Iraqi sides who hate each other attacking a common foreign enemy. "Who’s on first?" will be the order of the day.
The one item on which the U.S. counted, Allawi’s premiership, appears to be on the way out. If he stays in power, the U.S. can still rule without opposition, but this taken-for-granted aspect is quickly fading.
Today, I read an article written by syndicated columnist David Ignatius published in the Washington Post, called "Allawi Apprehensive About New Iraq." He mentions most of the analysis I have written, but he maintains that Allawi is a great leader and individual. He calls him a "decent man."
I have heard Allawi called many things by Iraqis of various persuasions, but never a "decent man." Here is the letter I sent to Ignatius:
Your column titled "Allawi apprehensive about new Iraq" is quite perplexing.
Without delving into each issue you bring up, I will just address one statement: "But, it's reassuring to think that this decent man, who served his country bravely in a difficult time, will be around if he's needed."
I think your assessment of the word "decent" differs considerably from mine. Allawi was the mastermind behind the 1995 attacks in Baghdad that destroyed cinemas and bus stops and killed more than 100 civilians. This was just a part of the larger scheme to assassinate Saddam Hussein that was orchestrated by the CIA. Allawi was the cleanup hitter for the plot. Shortly after, the Iraqis discovered and destroyed the largest CIA station in the world located in Erbil. This story received scant publicity in the U.S. And, Allawi quickly left the area to allow those under him to bear the brunt of the counter-attack by Iraqi forces. He ran like a coward.
Then, last year, Allawi went into a police station in Baghdad, pulled out a pistol, and shot dead six men in the back of their heads. They had not even been charged. At first, this was portrayed as a rumor in the U.S., but subsequent reporting has verified this incident.
Allawi thought so much about his country that he spent a major portion of his life outside. Then, he ordered the murder of many innocent civilians. If this fits the description of a "decent" man, maybe I live on the wrong planet. His actions make those of Chalabi appear honorable.
The following article is copied from the well known American writer and journalist Malcom Lagauche. Nothing can describe the Iraqi people thoughts on this funky election better than this article, so just read it:
CONFUSION WITH IRAQ’S GENERAL ERECTION ELECTION
As I write this column, U.S. pundits are calling Iraq’s election a huge success. "High Iraq Vote Turnout Reported," said the MSNBC headline. But, can these words be misleading?
At the same time as the U.S. press extolling the virtues of U.S.-forced "democracy" on Iraq, Al-Jazeera news service seems a couple of steps ahead of its U.S. counterparts in running the headline, "Confusion Surrounds Iraq Poll Turnout." It appears that the Iraqi stooges assessed a 72% turnout, only to retract that figure a few hours later.
No one will ever know the exact number of voters. There are only U.S. personnel and U.S. quislings inside Iraq compiling the data.
The 72% seems quite high because in some cities, such as Samarra, the exact total of voters was zero. Many other cities reported light turnouts. The largest turnout has been, understandably, in the Kurdish areas. But, it still remains a mystery how many Iraqis really voted. And, of those Iraqis, how many were Iraqis? Reports of scandals involving many Iraqis selling their ballots to foreigners, or other Iraqis who would vote more than once, were rampant. The going rate for a ballot was about $400.
So far today, there have been many bombings at polling areas. At last count, more than 50 people have been killed. The chart at the top of this article depicts the areas in which attacks have occurred.
The U.S. has outdone itself in creating what must be considered the most illegal, illegitimate and contrived election in history. The antics make those of professional wrestling look real.
There is a long history of U.S. involvement in the outcome of foreign elections. And, in the 1990s, all secrecy was abandoned. When Karavic won the first Bosnian Serb election in 1995, the U.S. negated it and called for the country to have another election. The results of the second were identical to those of the first. When then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked why the results of a democratic election were cancelled by the U.S., she said, "The wrong side won." With that statement, any semblance of fairness by the U.S. in international elections went out the door. She put into words the thoughts that many people already had assumed.
Take Serbia in its 2000 election. When Milosovic’s opponent won, the U.S. State Department was jubilant. It quickly took credit for the victory and publicly stated in put $42,000,000 into the victor’s campaign. In the U.S., this is considered illegal. Imagine a foreign government publicly supporting either the Democrat or Republican party to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, and bragging about it.
Recently, the same scenario appeared in the Ukraine. And, the State Department again boasted that it gave millions of dollars to the winner.
The U.S. has not scored victories in all its efforts to buy election victories against people they don’t like. Last year, despite an overwhelming campaign from the U.S., Hugo Chavez beat the merde out of the opposition in an effort to recall him from office. But, his victory is rare when one looks at the scorecard of U.S. involvement.
The new Iraqi government will be a fiasco. This is what the U.S. wants because it can stay in Iraqi for years, all the time claiming that a bunch of buffoons are running the show and they have to ensure stability. Helen Keller could have seen this.
Since the formation of an Iraqi government by the U.S., there has been not one policy statement, nor has there been one act of governing. No economic programs. No foreign affairs statements. No health care programs. No planning for the infrastructure. In other words, the stooges have just gone to their offices and meeting rooms and have done nothing.
Any new government will resemble the false one that it replaces. There will be no governmental expertise or knowledge of how to run a country. It’s one thing to oppose those in power, but a movement must have viable, skilled people. In the case of Iraq, there is absolutely no way these people can run a country. Again, this just lengthens the time that the U.S. will stay in the country and run the show. And, it increases the number of deaths that will occur at the hands of the resistance.
Make no mistake. All the hoopla about these elections will not hide the fact that the results will amount to nothing more than a urine-induced concavity in a snowbank. It’s not a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss." In Iraq, the old boss was competent, and the new boss can’t manage a meat market, let alone a country.
Again, an unspoken thought still prevails. Many Iraqis would prefer Saddam Hussein to the new government. Hush, let’s not sound like radicals now. At least the New York Times did bring this fact up in its January 30, 2005 issue. In an article assessing the elections and stating the results of interviews with Iraqis, the publication wrote:
Some said the only candidate they wanted was not available: Saddam Hussein.
"Don’t tell me this election has anything to do with democracy," said Isam Jalal, 57.
"It was Saddam Hussein who tried to make this into a modern country, but that didn’t suit the United States and Britain or Israel, or even some of our brother Arab countries. If you want my vote, give me Saddam."
Jalal’s short statement spoke volumes. Especially about the fact that Iraq’s only crime was to want to elevate itself from third world status. That was a no-no in U.S. eyes.
With the current situation in Iraq, the glory days of this former progressive Arab country leading the way in regional education, engineering, health services, women’s rights, and other aspects, seem to have occurred centuries ago, not just 15 years ago. It took a decade and a half to bring Iraqi to its knees, but it will take much longer for the country to again experience the same self-respect, integrity and competence it once held in the Middle East.
I said that Jalal’s statement spoke volumes. Well, at least it speaks a 350-page book. My book, The Sledgehammer and the Ant, will be out in May. I have put the publishing date back several times, but it is now almost finished. And, if it could be encapsulated into one sentence, I could not have exceeded Jalal’s proclamation about outside influences being the causes for Iraq’s demise.
Saturday/Sunday, January 29-30, 2005