There is now evidence the United States has succeeded in bringing the benefits of political democracy to Iraq. Sad al-Alusi, who formerly worked for the Iraqi Intelligence Service, said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was handing out guns to people in exchange for having them vote the Maliki way come election day. Any Irish political boss would be turning over in his grave at the news Iraqis finally have learned American democracy– give the people some nice gifts and they will vote for your candidates. A government spokesman denied the existence of a guns-for-vote campaign. “These gifts have been given to the tribes for their contribution to security.”
Alusi claims about 8,000 guns were available to members of Iraq security forces and they were supposed to distribute them to tribal leaders. The head of Iraq’s parliamentary integrity commission, Sheikh Sabah al-Sayedi, confirmed that guns were handed out. Frankly, as one raised in neighborhoods run by Irish politicians, I don’t see the reason for fuss. What’s wrong with buying votes for presents? Isn’t that the old American way that Tea Party ranters boast about?