I can wrap my brain around the mindset that says you should apply for permits for such things, for public safety reasons: before you and a hundred thousand of your friends show up, you do others the courtesy of letting them know so that they can re-route busses and so that the cops (purportedly public servants) can keep the cars out of the way.
But in what Bizzarro-land does such a permit ever get denied? Did these people read the same Constitution I did?
What's the word for this emotion I'm feeling, halfway between baffled and angry?
- It's not about terrorism, because there's no evidence that Iraq has any connection to the Taliban;
- It's not about oil, because the US doesn't actually get much oil from Iraq;
- It's not about nucular weapons, because Iraq doesn't have any and isn't likely to soon, and besides, North Korea;
- It's not about Democracy and Freedom, because the US simply does not go to war over that (you stupid hippie);
- It's not about some personal Bush family grudge, because the shrub isn't actually as stupid as his media handlers make him look;
- It's not about distracting from domestic economic failures, because wars are way too expensive and only make that shit worse anyway.
So, ok, why then?
The US is abandoning plans to introduce democracy in Iraq after a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, according to Kurdish leaders who recently met American officials. The Kurds say the decision resulted from pressure from US allies in the Middle East who fear a war will lead to radical political change in the region.
The Kurdish leaders are enraged by an American plan to occupy Iraq but largely retain the government in Baghdad. The only changes would be the replacement of President Saddam and his lieutenants with senior US military officers. It undercuts the argument by George Bush and Tony Blair that war is justified by the evil nature of the regime in Baghdad. [...] Mr Abdul-Rahman said the US had reneged on earlier promises to promote democratic change in Iraq. "It is very disappointing," he said. "In every Iraqi ministry they are just going to remove one or two officials and replace them with American military officers."
Kurdish officials strongly believe the new US policy is the result of pressure from regional powers, notably Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The US appears to be quietly abandoning earlier declarations that it would make Iraq a model democracy in the Middle East. In Iraq, free elections would lead to revolutionary change because although the Shia Muslims and Kurds constitute three-quarters of the population, they are excluded from power in Baghdad by the Sunni Muslim establishment. [...]