PREEMPTIVE DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ : AN ALTERNATIVE TO PREEMPTIVE WAR
We believe the debate about Iraq is focused on the wrong issue. The issue is not the degree of danger Saddam poses or whether he should be removed. As long as he stays in power, he will remain dangerous and oppress his people. We understand that and accept the need to free Iraq for the Iraqis, for the region and for the world. That is how this proposal is different from that of antiwar groups. Preemptive Democracy is a pro-freedom plan which incidentally prevents a preemptive war, not a antiwar protest which protects a dictator.
The issue is how to oust Saddam Hussein. Nearly everyone assumes that once we accept the premise that Saddam must go, that the only way to do so is a preemptive war. It is intellectually dishonest and it is just plain wrong to assume this is the only way. In fact, this way guarantees more risk and Iraqi and US deaths than any other way. There are other, better, less risky and cheaper ways to do so and the Iraqi people, the American people and their soldiers, and the world, deserve to know the options. Instead of rushing into the highest risk scenario (which headlines remind us of daily), we need to look at lower risk options. The best one is to oust Saddam with Preemptive Democracy, using a legitimate transitional government created in a broad-based open constitutional process, and military force if necessary upon request and in cooperation with that legitimate government.This new government will immediately take over once Saddam falls, thus avoiding a risky, costly occupation and a U.S. General with dictatorial powers governing a large Arab country. Present plans to create such a government only after a war are naive in assuming that a government created under a U.S. Military
Governor would be more credible than a transitional one created immediately using a constitutional process outside of Iraq. The final step in the 3-step plan of preemptive democracy is the creation of a final democratic government by a constitutional convention elected in free and fair elections, organized by the transitional government.
The greatest failing of Iraqi opposition groups has been the collective inability to project a strong, credible, and positive public image, and to offer a vehicle/locus for public opposition to Saddam Hussein.
It is vital that a focused and disciplined plan to maximize the credibility of a transitional democratic Iraqi government be agreed on.
This more legitimate transitional government will delegitimize, destabilize and weaken dictatorship, and if necessary, can ask for external help in its fight against the Saddam’s Hussein usurper government.
This government is necessary today and must be independent of the U.N. track, as U.N. resolutions offer no legal ways to promote democracy or regime change. The maximum U.N. mandate is strictly one of disarmament, and it is in the U.S. and Iraqi people’s interest to effect regime change “cleanly” and openly rather than illegally and under accusations of double-dealing, lying to the world and using the U.N. as an excuse, when in truth, no excuse is needed other than promoting freedom. It diminishes freedom to have to falsely hide behind an amoral multilateral mandate that does not take tyranny into consideration.