Afghanistan is preparing to hold their elections this week, Iraq is gearing up for their elections. This is suppose to be called Democracy because they hold multi-party elections. But in reality it isn't. While some things have gotten better, the reality is that women and minorities are still being treated as second-class citizens in both countries.
There are two fundamental mechanisms which any democratic system must have.
The first is a method that ensures "Majority Rule". Usually through the holding of fair elections.
The second is a mechanism which prevents the majority from using its power to violate the rights of the individual or of minorities.
Discussions of the current democratization process in Afghanistan and Iraq simply report on the number of votes cast. They tend to ignore the question of protection of the rights of individuals, minorities, or unpopular viewpoints. Missing the whole point of real democracy.
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan signed into law a bill that allows spousal rape. Women still have to wear the burka, and a new law is being proposed to implement full Shar'ia Law on the land, in the manner of Saudi Arabia. Now somone tell me why we are there defending this?
In Iraq, Christians, Baha'i, Homosexuals, and Jews (there is only 1 left) are persecuted, imprisoned, raped beaten and murdered. And I am asking myself why did we go, was it worth all of the American deaths, and should we just leave the land since they are proving themselves to be barbarians.
Do not call either nation a Democracy. They haven't earned the name yet. Until they start treating women and minorities with equal rights and respect, then they have no right to ever be considered worthy of that title.