Erudite & gorgeous.
Consider how elections in Iraq are staged for the consumption of those in the United States. The right to vote, of course, is represented as the quintessential moment of democracy. Therefore we were asked to momentarily suspend our memory of what paved the way for these elections—the bombing, invasion, and occupation that continues to cause deaths, maiming, destruction, the dismantling of institutions, and the desecration of one of the world’s oldest cultures. U.S. imperialism becomes even more menacing as it increasingly constrains our capacity to imagine what an authentic democracy might be. As the main imposition of democracy is offered a primary aim of this military aggression, ‘democracy’ loses whatever substantive meaning it might have and is confined to the formality of exercising the right to vote. This limited notion of democracy—both for Iraq and the U.S.—forecloses notions of democracy that insist on economic, racial, gender, and sexual justice and equality.