When the first-ever free & fair election in the entire Arab world was held yesterday in Iraq, Bob Herbert bitches that the process wasn't perfect:
And we should keep in mind that despite the feelings of pride and accomplishment experienced by so many of the voters, yesterday's election was hardly a textbook example of democracy in action. A real democracy requires an informed electorate. What we saw yesterday was an uncommonly brave electorate. But it was woefully uninformed.
Maybe they've been reading too much of the NYT.
OK, OK -- that was a cheap shot. I don't want to sound too much like Professor Pangloss here, but we should really marvel that the bear here can waltz at all, instead of pointing out his lack of rhythm. So, really, maybe all Herbert and I differ on is what's the most important thing today.
Then I read a little further down:
The desire of the U.S., as embodied by the Bush administration, is to exercise as much control as possible over the Middle East and its crucial oil reserves.
That's right: One free election (and $50-plus-a-barrel for oil) later, and Herbert's still claiming "it's all about the OOOOOOIIIIIIILLLLL!"
Listen, bub. I know what "all about the oil" would look like, and it's so ugly, it makes Fallujah look like Farrah Fawcett, back before she had all that work done to her face. "All about the oil" looks like Riyadh, Baghdad and Caracas (yes, Caracas) leveled by city-buster nukes. "All about the oil" looks like the Marines keeping the locals at gunpoint while they pump crude into US-(forcibily re-)flagged tankers. "All about the oil" looks like, well, a lot like European colonializtion in the 18th Century, updated with modern weapons: Go in, take what you want, and fuck the locals.
"All about the oil" doesn't look like:
Sticking around in oil-free Afghanistan, to secure the peace.
Promising free elections in Iraq.
Delivering on said promise.
Publicly stating that we'll leave when asked.
Oh, and -- paying for the damn oil. With American dollars and American blood, I might add.
UPDATE: Orignally, I forgot to include a link to Herbert's column. That's been fixed -- and thanks for the heads-up, Steven.