Not long ago, in a country far away, the world held its breath as a tightly-fought election drew to its climax. The popular democratic candidate appeared to have won, but at the last minute, 25 key votes from the electoral college of a state run by the candidate’s brother assured victory for the son of the president before the last one. Victory was achieved by deliberately disenfranchising the voting rights of a poor ethnic minority predisposed to vote for the democratic party and by claiming that the ballot papers of others were spoiled by a technical anomaly. The bad guy, a fundamentalist puppet of amoral neo-conservatives with a history of warmongering and a vested interest in weapons of mass destruction, took over the country.
The suffering population of another country on another continent was bombed into the stone age in pursuit of its oil, under the pretext of freeing its people and establishing democracy. Torture and illegal detention became the norm, as a ‘war on terror’ was pursued to the detriment of the lives and liberties of large parts of the planet, justified by a systematic disregard of international law. Breathtaking abuses of trust, enacted in the name of liberalisation, destabilised and pillaged the global financial system. Armed and supported by that great nation its Middle East client state annexed territories, built concentration camps, killed thousands of civilians, invaded a neighbouring sovereign state causing billions of dollars of damage and ensured the election of a fellow neocon hawk by murdering over 2300 men, women and children, fanning the flames of despair, hatred and fundamentalist terror. Eight years later, with thousands of its own soldiers dead and wounded, fighting another unwinnable war of aggression with a busted economy and its international reputation in tatters, it was time for another election. This time the good guy won. Or did he?
I’m not talking about Iran.