I occasionally hear a pundit make the statement that American foreign policy is based on the idea that all good things in politics go together - that democracy brings peace, that the free are congenial on the international stage, that those given access to the free market will prosper.
The antecedents of a democratic government are functioning in Iraq at least in form and they are doing what a democracy does: acting as the mouthpiece of the people. We instilled "rule of the majority" in a predominately Shiite country. And now many high ranking representatives of the Iraqi people want to incorporate Iran into the re-stabilization process, despite the fact that Iran is a self-proclaimed enemy of America.
So now, in addition to the war in the streets, we are having trouble getting the Iraqi government to cooperate with our vision of the Middle East. This is because we can't have them be democratic on our terms. It's in conflict with what democracy truly is - the political realization of one's own terms. It's this belief that democracy will bring pro-American global market activism that confused the public into supporting this war. It is also why our enemy walks so intractably among the faces of our allies in a way so chillingly reminiscent of Vietnam.
American soldiers are breaking into the compounds of active Iraqi Members of Parliament to find "illegal" Iranian nationals. We are arresting militants from Iran within the borders of Iraq and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki is ruling their arrests illegal and allowing them to escape. Elected officials are found responsible and arrested for the bombing of American embassies.
These are the people who an unrestricted Iraqi electorate finds most representative of them. On the ground, insurgents are found outfitted for weapons and equipment by Iraqi police. The government at large makes it no secret that it would like to buy weapons from Iran.
Yet so few voices in American government are asking the question: are our enemies the forces that want to destroy the democratic government in Iraq or the forces within government expounding the anti-American