Heredity Power Set to Bring Democracy to Iraq

   In the November 5, 2002 General Election, United States Senator Frank H. Murkowski was elected Governor of Alaska with 129,279 (55.86%) votes.  A Senator since 1980, he had made one unsuccessful run for the House of Representatives in 1970.  Murkowski was a staunch ideological opponent of affirmative action while in the Senate.

   He took office as governor on December 2, 2002.  Just prior to taking the oath of office, he resigned his Senate seat.  Vacant Senate seats are filled by appointment of the governor.  Under Alaska law, the governor must act within 30 days of the vacancy, but must wait at least 5 days before making an appointment.

    Governor Murkowski made a list of 26 people to consider for the appointment, but in the end settled on his daughter, Lisa, a lawyer and member of the state legislature since 1998.


Not Alone

    Lisa Murkowski becomes the 5th child of a Senator to currently sit in the United States Senate, but the first to be appointed.  Seeing as there are only 100 senators, that means that 5% of the Senate had parents who were also Senators.  Evan Bayh of Indiana (son of Birch Bayh, Senator from 1963-1981), Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island (Son of John Chafee Senator from 1978-2001), Christopher Dodd of  Connecticut (son of Tom Dodd Senator from 1959-1971) and Mark Pryor of Arkansas (son of David Pryor Senator from1979 -1997).

    Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts is the brother of a Senator and President.  Hillary Clinton of New York and Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina are the wives of Presidential candidates.  John Sununu and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire are the sons of former Governors.  John Rockefeller, of West Virginia, heir to one of the great oil fortunes, is the nephew of two Governors: Winthrop Rockefeller of Arkansas and Nelson Rockefeller of New York.  Mary Landrieu is the daughter of the former Mayor of New Orleans and Bob Graham of Florida is the brother of the late Katherine Graham, owner of the Washington Post, the newspaper of record for the nation's capital. 

    This shows that in a democracy, anyone can rise to the highest offices.  This is especially true considering that in the last presidential contest, Al Gore was the son of a Senator and George W. Bush was the grandson of a Senator and son of a President.

    Now the senate, with coequal responsibility for foreign policy, is going to wage war for regime change and to disarm Iraq?  Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator.  Like Stalin, he is using dictatorship and brutality to "modernize" his backward, underdeveloped nation.

    The legendary foreign minister of the late, great Soviet Union, Andrei Gromyko, wrote in his Memoirs that nations sometimes fall into the grip of "mass ideological psychosis." 

    The United States is currently in such a condition first of all, by thinking itself a democracy in the wake of an election where the candidate with the fewer votes was made the winner by a  Supreme Court order stopping the counting of the votes.  The Supreme Court held that statutory deadlines are more important than people's right to have their votes properly counted. (Which does not matter because people have no right to vote for President under the constitution anyway.  That's the first sentence of the Bush v. Gore decision, "There is no right to vote for president under the Constitution.")

    Secondly, the United States' historical picture of itself is another mass ideological psychosis.  The United States condoned human slavery for the first 80 years of its existence.  Then, as it industrialized through the end of the 19th century, development was powered by immigrants and child labor.  Working conditions were horrendous.  Early death, disfigurement, no health benefits or social safety net was the rule in the United States until the labor movement of the 1930's, when Iraq was still a British "protectorate" where the people were being bombed with poison gas.  The truth is, no nation, not even the United States, has managed to modernize and industrialize without paying a horrendous human cost.  As long as the Iraqi dictatorship was willing to use its murder and brutality in pursuit of American geopolitical interests, everything was ok.  But now that the regime has become an opponent, its brutality and nature has suddenly become morally repugnant.  And this, of course, overlooks the fact that the United Nations over the past decade imposed sanctions on Iraq have been responsible for a million deaths and the malnutrition of tens of thousands of children.  I'm sure the Iraqi's are looking forward to their liberation by their former colonizers and supporters of the brutal dictatorship under which they live, plus the deaths of their family members and friends from sanctions.  This will not be the liberation of France in 1945.  

    The Iraq war is a reification of the election process that brought Bush to power.  Like the Florida vote count, some arbitrary deadline is more important than determining whether or not Iraq actually has weapons of mass destruction.  In fact, the United States is not even claiming that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.  The war is being justified on the premise that Iraq might have weapons of mass destruction, or might develop them in the future and give them to a "terrorist" group.  The weapons of mass destruction are just a causus belli anyway.

    Scott Ritter, a former Marine and inspector in the previous Iraq inspection, said that after the first Gulf War in 1991, then Secretary of State James Baker said, "Sanctions will not be removed from Iraq until Saddam Hussein is out of power."

    The hereditary government of the United States is waging war to pursue a hereditary feud between the Bush family and the Takriti clan of Saddam Hussein.

    And hereditary promotion in politics is not limited to the United States Senate.  In New Jersey, Assemblyman Scott Garrett was elected to the House of Representatives last November.  His vacant seat was filled by Alison McHose, the daughter of state Senator Robert Littell.

    Senator Littell is an alumnus of the prestigious expensive private preparatory Hun School in Princeton.  When Senator Littell was chairman of the budget committee, he inserted a $200,000 historic preservation item to refurbish one of the dormitories at the Hun School.  Well, it was an old building.

    Senator Littell and his daughter are the second parent child team in the New Jersey State Legislature.  Leonard and Christopher Conners are a father and son, State Senator, State legislator team in the Ninth District.  New Jersey has 80 districts, so two of them have parent and child representation.  And this does not count the son of the former governor who is a state Senator in another district.  New Jersey's United States Representative Rush K. Holt is the son of former United States Senator from West Virginia, Rush T. Holt. 

    Not to mention United States Representative Rodney T. Frelinghuysen of the legendary Republican political family in New Jersey.  His father, Peter H. B. Frelinghuysen, Jr. served in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1953 to 1973.  His great uncle, Joseph S. Frelinghuysen was United States Senator from New Jersey from 1917 to 1923.  His great-great-grandfather Frederick T. Frelinghuysen was U. S. Senator from 1866 to1869 and 1871 to 1877, his great-great-great grandfather, Theodore Frelinghuysen  was United States Senator from New Jersey from 1829 to 1835, his great-great-great-great grandfather, Frederick Frelinghuysen, was a Federalist Senator from 1793 to 1796 and served as a colonel in the continental army.

    Certainly the Iraqis are anxiously waiting for the United States to destroy their country and kill tens of thousands of their people to bring them the blessings of democracy and freedom.  The soon to be orphaned children don't need their parents, Barbara and Laura Bush reading them fairy tales on television will certainly be an adequate substitute.  And the parents surely will feel fortunate to have liberty and American-style democracy in exchange for their dead, malnourished and crippled children.  What a deal!  I'm sure they'll welcome the United States and British soldiers with open arms.  Maybe the Make-A-Wish Foundation will send the hopeless ones to Disney World.  After all, Iraq lived under a British imposed Saudi king until 1958 and didn't even have an army until 1921. (Which is a good thing, because that's when the British introduced aerial  bombing of civilians to Iraq.)  The Iraqis probably want to go back to those good old days of colonialism, just like the United States is going back to the good old days of hereditary power.

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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf