July 8, 2004
All right, it's come to pass, but where's the outrage about the newly minted martial law for Iraq?
Dr. Allawi, the veteran CIA man who is now undercover as Iraq's prime minister, wasted no time in office before shredding the final fall-back rationale for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which was, as you'll remember, to bring democracy to Baghdad.
Well, Dr. Goodwrench has installed a martial law instead.
Barely a week into office, Allawi signed a law granting himself extraordinary powers to "restrict the freedoms of citizens or foreigners," to ban groups, to barge into homes, and to hold suspects indefinitely.
And guess who will be enforcing martial law?
Not the Iraqis. They don't have enough troops. And they aren't reliable, anyway.
No, this task will fall to the Americans, who have been essentially performing it already.
And Bush and his generals are more than happy to keep handling the job.
"We can certainly be supportive of the Iraqi government when asked, on a case-by-case basis," a senior American military official told The New York Times. "I'm sure we can be helpful."
I'm sure, too--if you call that being helpful.
But where was implementing martial law among the high-minded goals for the Iraq War?
Bush, ever insensitive to civil liberties, came out in defense of martial law. Asked on June 28 about the possibility of martial law in Iraq, he said: "The best way to defend yourself is to go on the offensive."
Now that should be offensive to all Americans who bought the lie that this war was about democracy.