January 30, 2005

The making and meeting of expectations in IRAQ

In Iraq, the primary phenomenon that will determine the long term outcome as a nation is the management of expectations by the US. One can only feel disappointed or cheated if one has an expectation of what will be. Often times, human expectations can be very unrealistic, bordering on fantasy. Other times, our expectations are set by promises or using other entities success as an expectation of the fruits that will come to us. The US must ensure that the expectations that it has created, in the rationalizations for its invasion, are meet. Failure to do so will create a worse Iraq than before.

The success or failure of Iraq’s future democracy will come from expectations juxtaposed against the realities. When the US vilified Saddam and blamed most of Iraqis problem directly on his shoulders, it created the expectation that removing Saddam would lead to a better Iraq. The failure of that to have manifested, to date, is largely what is responsible for fueling the current insurgency. It is true that some things have gotten better, but it has been offset by other things becoming worse. A people who used to live in fear of their leader, now live in fear of each other. There has been no net gain, yet, the expectation of the people is for just that.

Had the regime change brought about immediate improvement in the lives of the people, the insurgency could have never taken roots to the degree it has. Instead, two years post the topple of the regime, a good percentage of Iraqis see no change for the better and many see things as being much worse. It is this disappointment that leads many Iraqis to feel lied to and manipulated for the control of their resources by America and thus to pick up arms against the current power structure in an insurgency.

Now, we have the appearance of democracy in the form of elections. The propaganda from America is that Democracy is the salvation. You have Iraqis who are salivating and excited over being able to choose their leaders. This jubilation is born from one primary expectation, which is the expectation that choosing their leaders will make their lives better. People do not vote just for the sake of voting. Rather, people vote because they want the ability make change in politics that will make their lives better.

If a year after the elections the people of Iraq see no fundamental change or improvement in their lives, the whole thing will fall apart in anarchy or civil war. This begs the question of why and how would simply having an election change anything on the ground? Would such improve the economics? Would such make the streets safer from criminals? Would it improve electrical output? Would in improve the long lines Iraqis must wait in for fuel? Would it end the insurgency? Will the American troops leave?

One can see already that the US is trying to subdue expectations and to call the election a victory in and of itself. We are now starting to point to our own democracy and how long it took our nation to rise from oppression, to subdue the expectations of Iraqis and Americans. That might work on the Americans, but it will not suffice for the Iraqi people. I am sure that they are not willing to wait 200 years before this thing takes off and bears fruit. They will need to se results in a few years.

If the US was smart, it would be “holding back” delivery of things until after the election. Then post election start ramping up meeting the expectations of the people so that the people will assume that things are getting better by virtue of democracy. However, all indications are that the US is not smart, if one extrapolates from the recent empirical facts. In fact, everything has been a miscalculation, if not prevarication, on the part of the US.

What the US should have did was to time these milestone events with the ability to deliver change that would work to meet the Iraqis expectations. That requires foresight, planning and the willingness to be flexible, in regards to troop strength and monies. Instead, staying the course and saving face has lead to the inability of promises to meet realities for the Iraqi people. Yes, I said promises. You do not invade a nation, killing an estimated 100,000 innocent Iraqis, who would most likely be alive today if Saddam was still in power, unless you are making the people a promise. We did not rationalize our invasion based on removing Saddam “might” make the peoples lives better and the world safer, it was an implied promise, based upon the sacrifice to do it.

The truth is that we do not know for certain what the goals and plans of our nation is in Iraq. We would be fools to simply trust what they tell us or to believe that what they are telling us is their motives is their ONLY motive. It may be true what they are telling, but what they are omitting may be of greater weight in the motivation of our activity. The argument can be very easily made that we want to keep troops in Iraq for a long time. It is not secrete that we need or want military bases in the Middle East and that we want to ensure the flow of oil is not used politically to hurt our interest. However, the people of the Middle East do not want US troops based on their soil. So instability in Iraq could work to our geopolitical advantage.


At 7:09 AM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

One Man, One Vote is not democracy.

Considering the various interests and the legitimate cultural differences in Rank-Order-Priority Interests along with the globally universal, local oppression both historical and current... One Man, One Vote maintains oppression with the illusion of freedom through the most minute of concessions of the powerful to the power-less.

And, even the One Man, One Vote Model hasn't been advocated in Iraq.

Pretty curious considering the US hypocrisy on this.

None of our greatly concerned White fellow citizens seemed to think the whole structure of American "democracy" needed to be restructured to avoid the tyranny of the majority (like the Shi'ites) over the minority (the Sunnis, etc.). And this was after centuries long demonstration of that tyranny.

What happened to the Black US Prime Minister(s)?

What happened to a government set up by its very structure to reflect and install representatives of every ethnic group according to their proportion of the population?

The US for sure have no moral ground to talk about democracy, let alone talk about exporting it.

You can't export something you don't have at home.
But, then again, that is obviously what they intend...
To export their White Supremacy dominance with their US Model (and all they've learned as they've perfected dominance here) around the world when and were they can.

Make no mistake about it. Only stupid people believe what a proven liar says in literal terms.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

I have never heard so many white folks bring upon the US history of oppression and the years of struggle that the nation (blacks) had to endure to reach the point we are now. What they are tying to do is prep the people, American and Iraqis, to not expect much from this for a long time. They just want to people to see the election as a victory in and of itself.. That way, the administration can claim responsibility for that success and any and all subsequent failures, will be the fault of the Iraqis.

One of Ironies here is that many people From Africa and other parts of the world used to go to Iraq for work, under the old Saddam regime. The per capital income, middle class, schools and other things were markedly better under Saddam, than in Many Democracies around the world, particularly in Africa. When you are at the levels of abject poverty, your main concern is economic and not political. I think that many people would trade in their vote, for the ability to eat and feed their children every day. In truth, the biggest dictator and oppressor in this world is POVERTY. No one is invading poor nations with capital investments, like they are willing to invade nations that are non democratic missiles and tanks. Its all BS in my opinion. Just a pretext to get at resources.

At 9:14 AM, Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

Most of the pontificating enganged in by the media and political leaders relating to the Iraqi election is "lipstick on a pig" to me. If the policy if foul, adding a little bit of sugar to it won't make it sweet.
I have never seen America as self-righteous as it is right now. If you were from another planet and you listened to white people talk about this election compared with blacks voting, you'd think that they GAVE us the right to vote out of the goodness of their hearts. Wrong. We had to fight and die for it. I'm so tired of hearing all of this rhetoric about freedom, because these very same people are the ones cheering when we kill a whole bunch of people over there.


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