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14 de julho de 2010 —

Iraq after US: Democracy or Bureaucrocy?

Is that what US export as democracy?

Do you remember the exact reason US pledge to invade Iraq?
Saddam was accused to have “Weapons of Mass Destruction“, and 2 years after Afghanistan invasion – consequence of WTC attack – Bush and his allies were also in Iraq. Now, seven years after the beggining of the conflict U.S. is ready to leave, their objectives were accomplished.

No single  “weapon of mass destruction” was found, but they found a lot of Saddam treasures and money, lots of money.  US is ready to leave because its democratic system is applied and ready to work:  Iraq is politically sliced as a pizza with a lot of lobby – from coalition private, and public, capital – over “non-political” bureaucracy. A corrupted bureocracy pro-coalition whatever government exist in Iraq. Of course, we must mention that, while people are making money, iraqis are still dying, starving, suffering of several matters.

So how will be the Iraq after US: Democracy or Bureaucrocy?




Dear Iraq, Welcome to the “Iron law of Oligarchy”

The article is article was published on Al Jazeera .com

(Reuters) When Vice-President Joe Biden visited Baghdad this past Sunday on July 4th, it was a sad and miserable turn of events.

By Dallas Darling | Al

When Vice-President Joe Biden visited Baghdad this past Sunday on July 4th, it was a sad and miserable turn of events. One has to feel a sense of shame and remorse, in that, any other Western nation would have probably established a better democratic system than the United States Empire.

And while Biden was urging Iraqi leaders and their political factions to end months of delays in selecting new leaders, so that much needed legislation could go forward; and while suicide bombers struck government centers in Mosul and Ramadi; and even as mortar rounds exploded in the Green Zone-attacks that caused several casualties; it reminded me of the Iron Law of Oligarchy.

The Iron Law of Oligarchy was a political theory developed by German economist and sociologist Robert Michels. In his book Political Parties, and after observing several Western democratic systems, including the United States, Michels concluded that all organized groups are inherently undemocratic.

Thus, The Iron Law of Oligarchy states that organization is necessary to accomplish anything, but organization requires and leads to bureaucracy, and bureaucracy ends up with power in the hands of a few at the top.(1) For Michels, then, oligarchy existed and thrived in Western democracies through powerful political parties and their hierarchies which were not separated from the masses.

Regarding The Iron Law of Oligarchy and the United States – in Europe there appears to be more political party plurality and sharing of power – the Republican Party which supported the pre-emptive war against Iraq and its occupation, and the Democratic Party which continues the Republican-led war and military occupation, have both dominated American politics for over a century.

They have built-up and maintained massive anti-democratic and abusive power structures. From the Republican Party’s Religious Right and Conservative Imperialists, like the Project for a New American Century, to the Democratic Party’s Elite and Liberal Interventionists, a small group of war hawks and corporate financiers have ruled and controlled America’s domestic and foreign policies for their own purposes.

In the midst of the U.S. Green Zone, which actually reflects, and was built, by Republican and Democratic oligarchies, including their war machine, Biden met with Iraq’s Prime Minsiter Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite who is struggling to keep his position after his party lost the last election, and the Sunni-backed Ayad Allawi, al-Maliki’s challenger.

Absent from the discussions and democratic process were dozens of other political and religious parties, like the Sadrists, Islamic Labour Movement in Iraq, Communist Party of Iraq, Green Party of Iraq, Peoples Union of Iraq, and the neo-Baathists. Ironically, Biden made clear that a government that is not represented by all sides-no matter who leads it-will fall short of a thriving democracy, something which has not yet occurred in the United States.


And while Biden claims he is hoping for a peaceful transition in breaking Iraq’s political impasse, The Iron Law of Oligarchy, which the U.S. has projected onto Iraq and is now trying to impose, has only worked well in the United States because both parties are in control of the military. Michels also warned those at the top of a bureaucratic oligarchy will control information and mass communications systems, upon which its voting body of chief executives makes decisions affecting their constituency.(2) Most Americans are thus unable to separate their thinking from the Few, or the powerful elites and their minions, of the two major political parties: Democrats and Republicans.

While Democrats and Republicans expect Iraq to pattern its democracy after the United States’ Iron Law of Oligarchy, the people of Iraq should strive for a more inclusive and pluralistic political process. All political parties and their constituents needs-including faith based and nongovernmental ones-should be at least heard, if not met. A recent report revealed that after three decades of war, there are one million widows now living in Iraq. Hameeda Ayed, who has three children and lost her husband after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and its violent aftermath, stands endless hours in line for a few dollars. After several years of government bureaucracy, or The Iron Law of Oligarchy, which has also led to the neglect of her children, she exclaimed, “Our life has been turned into misery and desperation…This is what we got from occupation and the dreams of democracy: orphans, widows, homeless, displaced and fugitives.”

As an elite and professional politician with millions of dollars at his disposal and backed by an oligarchy-like political party, it was easy for Biden to say, “We are not disengaging from Iraq, our engagement is changing. We are moving from a military lead to a civilian lead…we have no preferred candidates, we have no preferred outcomes.” The unspoken reality, though, is a political culture of vote-buying, corporate lobbyists, billionaire donors, manipulative districts, ballot box abuse, and a controlled media that socially engineers an electorate. With Iraq’s petroleum and proximity to Iran-not to mention lawsuits against U.S. corporations and their private security firms for causing death and destruction, and a possible war crimes trial for those who ordered the pre-emptive war against Iraq-look for more widows, orphans, homelessness, and the rule of The Iron Law of Oligarchy.

— Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John‘s Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for You can read more of Dallas’ writings at and


(1) Hill, Kathleen Thompson and Gerald N. Hill. Real Life Dictionary of American Politics. Los Angeles, California: General Publishing Group, 1994., p. 146.

(2) Ibid., p. 147.

Source: Middle East Online





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