Democracy US style, has about as much to do with democracy, as food McDonald's style, has to do with food.
George W Bush wants to introduce democracy to the Middle East.
No, we didn't dream it, Bush actually said it, the man who stole the US election, who is in hock to big business, wants to introduce democracy to the Middle East.
The US has an excellent record on introducing democracy. A quick world tour gives many examples: Vietnam, Indonesia, Iran, Chile, Brazil, why list individual countries, let's just say, Latin America.
But let's be generous to Bush. That was the past, before his time, other US administrations. So let's look at the present day: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics.
So what exactly does George W mean when he says 'introduce democracy to the Middle East'?
We don't have democracy now in the Middle East. But the problem to US eyes is that it is not 'democracy' subservient to US interests, subservient to global corporations.
Now we can begin to see the sort of democracy George W is looking for. The type that opens up the country, both its people and its resources, to exploitation by big businesses, where money decides who the candidates are, where money decides who runs the country and how it is run, and the only role of the people is to cast a ballot on election day to give a veneer of legitimacy, but it will do as the mainstream media will carry the propaganda for what a day for democracy.
Iraq, if we put to one side the illegitimate war and occupation, is an opportunity lost. We have the chance to install, with the co-operation of the people of Iraq, real democracy. By real democracy, I do not mean the failed Western model of representative democracy (where a rapidly shrinking electorate choose between alternative shits), but participatory democracy, of which several examples have recently emerged in Latin America (Workers Party in Porto Alegre in Brazil, Zapatistas in Chiapas in Mexico and the Piqueteras in Argentina), where power has been taken by the people, where local areas have been turned into autonomous zones, where it is the people who decide what is best for themselves, not corrupt politicians in the pocket of big business.
Still the Iraqi puppet council are learning from their Yanqui Imperial masters, the big contracts go to Betchel and Halliburton, lower down the food chain, the puppets hand out the contracts to their favoured friends and relatives.
Democracy US style, has about as much to do with democracy, as food McDonalds' style, has to do with food.
Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy
Noam Chomsky, Rogue States
Michael Moore, Dude, Where's My Country?, Penguin/Allen lane, 2003
Greg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, 2002
Keith Parkins, New political initiative, Indymedia UK, 16 October 2003
Keith Parkins, New political initiative, Indymedia UK, 20 October 2003
Keith Parkins, A sense of the masses - a manifesto for the new revolution, November 2003
John Pilger, The New Rulers of the World, Verso, 2003