OPINION

Democracy and its enemies

Next Sunday’s elections in Iraq are turning into the biggest battle of the American invasion. At stake are Iraq’s future and US President George W. Bush’s intention to make his country safer by promoting «freedom» and «democracy» across the world. «It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world,» Bush said at the inauguration of his second term. Aside from distilling his policy, these words are just as significant for what they hint at without mentioning. They do not mention the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war, nor the weapons of mass destruction that ostensibly prompted the invasion of Iraq but were never found. Nor did he say that the election of a new government will allow the United States to leave Iraq without it looking like defeat. Talk of democracy and freedom befits the leader of the country that helped spread these ideals across the world last century. But today this also sounds like a wish for a world made in America’s image and an effort to cover the mistakes in intelligence and the lack of strategy that resulted in chaos in Iraq. But it is the United States’ enemies who have signaled the true significance of the elections. «Anyone who takes part in these elections will be an infidel,» Osama bin Laden declared in a message on the Internet in December. His ally Abu Musab al Zarqawi has played a leading role in the bloodshed. But there may be a deeper reason than wanting to disrupt Washington’s plans. «Democracy is a Greek word meaning the rule of the people, which means that the people do what they see fit,» the terrorist group Ansar al-Sunna said last month. «This concept is considered apostasy and defies the belief in one God – Muslims’ doctrine.» «Democracy» is a Greek word, as is «chaos:» Sunday’s elections are truly significant.