THE BLOG
07/26/2007 01:35 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Iraqi Government Says Oil Workers' Unions Are "Not Legitimate"

On one side of the ledger, we have: more than 3,600 U.S. soldiers killed, and more than 25,000 wounded. The financial cost of the war is now $10 billion a month -- three months of the war would pay for the expansion in children's health care that the president says is too expensive. Nearly a million Iraqis have died, and four million have been made refugees inside or outside the country.

But on the other side of the ledger: we have brought the Iraqis "democracy." Supporters of the war like Joe Lieberman, echoing Madeleine Albright's defense of 500,000 Iraqi deaths due to sanctions (yes, the same Madeleine Albright now lecturing Senator Obama on how diplomacy works), say the price is right.

What is this "democracy" we have bought for the Iraqis, with our blood and treasure and theirs? Women's rights organizations say they are increasingly the targets of violence, and the government does nothing, the UN's office of humanitarian affairs reports. Iraq's minorities are suffering a persecution at times verging on genocide, an Iraqi MP told the BBC.

And now this: "Iraq's oil minister said Iraq's oil unions are not legitimate," UPI reports:

"There are no legal unions in Iraq," Hussein al-Shahristani said Wednesday in response to a question about various factions' positions on the controversial oil law.

No legal unions in Iraq? What kind of democracy is that? Is that what we purchased with the blood and treasure of America's working families? Apparently so, according to UPI:

The lone remaining law from the Saddam Hussein regime kept by U.S. occupying powers and the successive Iraqi government is the one that bans worker organizing in the public sector.


I'd like to see Mr. Lieberman, who claims to be pro-labor, explain this.

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