Fifteen years after communism was officially pronounced dead, its spectre seems once again to be haunting Europe. In January, the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly voted to condemn the ''crimes of totalitarian communist regimes'', linking them with Nazism and complaining that communist parties are still ''legal and active in some countries''.
They are routinely described by the international media as Iraq's first free and democratic elections. But, in reality, the elections are likely at best to be irrelevant, at worst to plunge Iraq deeper into the abyss. Both common sense and first principles dictate that no election in a country invaded and controlled by foreign troops can be regarded as free and fair.