Iraq Votes
January 30, 2005 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Iraq Votes
posted by Tullius (138 comments total)
 
Someone had to post it.
posted by Tullius at 7:59 AM on January 30, 2005


No, no one did.
posted by gleuschk at 8:08 AM on January 30, 2005


Iraq who?
posted by mischief at 8:17 AM on January 30, 2005


Someone did
posted by Mick at 8:24 AM on January 30, 2005


I'm endorsing the less smarmy thread.

I thought things would go badly but it's really heartening to read about this. Brought a nice smile to my face on a dreary Sunday.
posted by dig_duggler at 8:41 AM on January 30, 2005


"Someone did"

Oh, is that what that FPP is about!? I would have never guessed from the writeup, which is why I skipped it.
posted by mischief at 8:42 AM on January 30, 2005


Ah ... the friendly version ...

This has brightened my morning. Huzzah!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:55 AM on January 30, 2005


Still think it's a not-so meaningful gesture, but I'm glad not too many folk died in the process of a gesture.

Huzzah!
posted by destro at 9:09 AM on January 30, 2005


It's worth taking note of the fact that the high turnout in Iraq, while inevitably being spun here in the media as some kind of endorsement of the GOP's bomb-'em-into-the-voting-booths model of "democracy," may (what a thought!) be a measure of how badly Iraqis hope to determine their own future, after decades of Saddam telling them what to do, and a couple of years of Bush telling them what to do.
posted by digaman at 9:11 AM on January 30, 2005


Now comes the hard part, building a government where the Sunnis do not feel completely left out. If there is enough for them so that the Sunni religious leaders can start criticizing the insurgents. If they lose their popular support they will be easier to fight and control.
posted by caddis at 9:23 AM on January 30, 2005




I predict that when Iraq's votes are counted, if they're ever counted correctly, you'll find the big majority of the voters were Shiites in Shiite precints in Shiite areas voting for Shiite candidates approved by the Shiite ayatollahs, as in the NYT's photo of voting in Shiite Basra; next up will be Kurdish voters in Kurdish areas voting for Kurdish candidates put forth by the Kurdish hierarchy, as in the article's vaunted high voter turnout in "Sunni Muslim" Mosul, where the big majority of the Sunni Muslims in that Kurdish city in the Kurdish third of the country are (tah-dah) Sunni Muslim Kurds. That is, the Sunni Arabs, the demographic Saddam and his tightest supporters come from, being, depending on the source, anywhere from 20-40% of the population within the current international border and concentrated in the "Sunni Triangle", as a result of elections that won't benefit them much and wouldn't even if they did participate, will shortly be the new "niggers" of the new (Shiite) Islamic Republic of Iraq -- an Iraq with which the US-puppet regime of Kurdistan will be loosely affiliated. What we're seeing is not so much the "birth of democracy" as it is the "democratic" dismantling of Iraq. This should come as no surprise to anybody who's been reading newspaper and magazine articles on the subject for the past two years, and I'm not talking only about "radical pinko" rags like the New York Times, as I'm simply parroting what the vast majority of those various articles have said. You know, the articles that the ruling clique call "propaganda" and that most Bush supporters don't read anyway because Fox News is so "fair and balanced".

But Cheney's buddies will get richer while Bush supporters break their arms patting themselves on the back for helping them, which after all has been plainly the point of the whole thing all along.

By the way, why should it surprise anyone that, e.g., the overwhelmingly Shiite majority of the overwhelmingly Shiite city of Basra would be safe to obey their Shiite leaders in voting for the Shiite slate? Even in Baghdad you find the voting was heavily concentrated in the Shiite neighborhoods "protected" by Shiite militias (the ones the "coalition" tried so hard to disarm last spring), and I really doubt most of them will be voting for Sunni parties whether Arab or Kurd. Would it surprise you folks that Republicans in rural areas of "red" states were perfectly safe to vote for Republicans? In contrast, you'll find a higher proportion of Iraqi Sunni Arabs casting absentee ballots from California than in their own homeland.
posted by davy at 9:38 AM on January 30, 2005


Can anyone locate a bunch of iraqi blogs from inside iraq? I can turn on a TV and see what the network thinks, but folks on ground are much more interesting.
posted by mathowie at 9:39 AM on January 30, 2005


Click the link to "Blog of Raed" in the link I posted above. It has links to several other blogs in Iraq.
posted by Vulpyne at 9:41 AM on January 30, 2005


From today's BBC:

"Correspondents say there was a marked division in turnout between Sunni, Shia and Kurdish strongholds.

In the Shia Muslim south and Kurdish north of the country, lines formed at polling stations and there were smiles and tears of joy among voters.

But polling stations in many Sunni-dominated cities in the centre of Iraq were closed or deserted, as voters stayed away out of fear of attack or opposition to the poll."

Is this any surprise to those who've been staying informed on the subject?
posted by davy at 9:55 AM on January 30, 2005


It's worth nothing that the Democratic Party had fair representation in the bomb-'em-into-the-voting-booths model of "democracy," but hedged later on when it became apparent that war is often deadly, difficult, protean, and, well....war-like. Had the admin concentrated less on the WMD angle and more on the more sober "take out this dictator and sow much-needed democracy in the region" angle, there would've been even more Democrats lapping it up.

Looking at pics like this, this, this, and this makes me wonder what Western feminists think about changes in the MidEast. Or what else could have been done—save for the extreme measures of an all-out war—to pull that culture out of the Middle Ages.

As far Zarquawi and his "war against democracy", let's hope they catch him alive so he can be afforded a proper trial of his peers—his own countrymen who wanted nothing more than to cast a ballot.
posted by jenleigh at 9:58 AM on January 30, 2005


it's really heartening to read about this.

indeed it is.
posted by quonsar at 10:01 AM on January 30, 2005


From last thursday's BBC: Who will vote in Iraq's election?

But then hey, it's so heartening that Republicans could vote Republican in Republican localities in "red" states, ain't it!
posted by davy at 10:07 AM on January 30, 2005


I'm so thrilled this day has passed without bloodshed that I can't even get worked up about jenleigh's combination strawman/apologia.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:12 AM on January 30, 2005


Vulpyne's mentioning ration cards got me wondering - any other sources mention or corroborate this? All I have found is that the basis for Iraqi registrations is ration cards issued as of 1996 for the UN oil-for-food program...so far, nothing that mentions 'no vote, no ration card'. Please pass links you find.

A 72% turnout statistic that isn't backed by anything is not very useful, and Zogby isn't a whole lot better IMHO, but I hope the media dig into the Iraq election with gusto.
posted by nj_subgenius at 10:13 AM on January 30, 2005


"People in many areas are being told that if they don't vote -- Sunnis and Shia
alike -- the food and supply rations we are supposed to get monthly will be
cut off. We've been getting these rations since the beginning of the
nineties and for many families, it's their main source of sustenance. What
sort of democracy is it when you FORCE people to go vote for someone or
another they don't want?"

posted by digaman at 10:27 AM on January 30, 2005


From reliable sources I was only able to find that the voter list was based upon the people holding ration cards and that upon registering, not upon voting, new ration cards were issued for 2005.
posted by caddis at 10:30 AM on January 30, 2005


I enjoyed the coverage on tv the other day of Iraqis in the US who were going to the 5 polls in the US. They all were quite excited. Regardless of what you think about the whole thing, it's nice to see tearful smiles of people coming out.
posted by tomplus2 at 10:30 AM on January 30, 2005


Good luck to them I say.
posted by a3matrix at 10:46 AM on January 30, 2005


As regards Mick's remark, look at the time for both this post, and yours. If your comment was accusatory, I think that I've been vindicated.

And gleuschk, having consulted my portable Laplace machine, I discovered that in fact someone did have to post this.
posted by Tullius at 10:47 AM on January 30, 2005


A 72% turnout statistic that isn't backed by anything is not very useful, and Zogby isn't a whole lot better IMHO, but I hope the media dig into the Iraq election with gusto.

BBC: Iraqi electoral officials estimated that up to eight million Iraqis could have voted - more than 60% of those registered.

NYT: The chairman of the Independent Election Commission of Iraq, Fareed Ayar, said as many as 8 million people turned out to vote, or between 55 percent and 60 percent of those registered to cast ballots. If 8 million turns out to be the final figure, that would represent 57 percent of voters.

I'm still not clear on what percentage of Iraqis registered to vote though.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:47 AM on January 30, 2005


On the turnout so far in Iraq

40% of population registered (13.3MM vs 33.4MM)
60% of registered voters are estimated to have voted
24% of the population voted (8MM vs 33.4MM)

In the US (as of 2000 census):
69% of citizens registered
84% of registered voters actually voted
59% of all citizens voted
posted by nj_subgenius at 10:50 AM on January 30, 2005


24% of the population voted (8MM vs 33.4MM)

The CIA factbook (yeah, yeah) says the population of Iraq is 25 million, and 40% are under 14. Even if 33.4 is correct, it doesn't make much sense too include people to young to vote.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:57 AM on January 30, 2005


it doesn't make much sense too include people to young to vote.

Oh the shame. Doesn't make much sense indeed.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:05 AM on January 30, 2005


I'm terribly moved by the pictures coming out of the Shia voting booths but have to take a small exception to this:

makes me wonder what Western feminists think about changes in the MidEast.

Many of the women in those pictures would not have been veiled in Saddam's day. But the mullahs are back and women are taking the veil again out of fear. So much for pulling the culture out of the Middle Ages. NOT an apology for Saddam (I can't believe I even have to say that) but a plea for a little nuance.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:07 AM on January 30, 2005


What a great day for Iraq! The really encouraging things to me are a) that Iraqis themselves provided much of the security, and b) that every person who voted, no matter who for, voted against the violent insurgency. I wonder why the insurgency was not able to mount more widespread of effective operations on election day? I would love to think that some of their own fighters refused to act against the elections.

Mathowie: Good roundup of Iraqi blogs here.
posted by LarryC at 11:14 AM on January 30, 2005


I know I am not alone in saying whatever one feels about the cause and effect of the Iraq war and ensuing masterclass on how not to do many things, the fact that some Iraqis at least had the chance to express how they felt through the franchise for the first time, is a wonderful thing. However, I can only feel good about it if I don't think of how and why we got here and what might happen next. Hopefully in future Iraqi elections (should they be held) individual candidates will be able to campaign under the party banners themselves, as there is evidence that you can get more pragmatic politicians in tune with local concerns that way (sometimes) than by massive anonymous lists. I also was encouraged by reports that without intimidation, many Shia privately favour more secular politicians as they just want to be left alone to live their lives without clerical interference. But who knows...
posted by The Salaryman at 11:23 AM on January 30, 2005


Interesting how this thread is so much more upbeat than Mick's.
But still - Amen to that a3matrix.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:24 AM on January 30, 2005


digaman: so Australia isn't a democracy either? I fail to see the problem with compulsory voting, whatever other problems this election might have.
posted by rustcellar at 11:34 AM on January 30, 2005


the population of Iraq is 25 million, and 40% are under 14

Why is such a large percentage of the population so young?

(The answer to this is probably pretty grim.)
posted by Krrrlson at 11:36 AM on January 30, 2005


I'm with quonsar. If this does well, it will be in spite of and not because of the incompetence of Bush's handling of Iraq.
posted by beth at 11:38 AM on January 30, 2005


YIKES!
Sorry for the inaccuracies everyone.
Adjusting (roughly)

87% of population registered (13.3MM vs approx 15MM)
60% of registered voters are estimated to have voted
53% of the population voted (8MM vs 15MM)
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:49 AM on January 30, 2005


eligible population that is
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:49 AM on January 30, 2005


Can anyone locate a bunch of iraqi blogs from inside iraq?

Just came across the following blogs (from "Bloggers Share the View From Election Day in Iraq" - WSJ):

A Star From Mosul
Back To Iraq
Cigars in the Sand
Democracy in Iraq (Is Here!)
Hammorabi
Free Iraqi
Iraq the Model
I Should Have Stayed Home
Life in Baghdad
The Mesopotamian
posted by ericb at 12:11 PM on January 30, 2005


Any reason all of those blogs all started in the last 2 months?
posted by destro at 12:36 PM on January 30, 2005


Also, Blogs from Iraq (at MSNBC.com).
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on January 30, 2005


Libs aren't happy unless the world is in bondage so they can cry crocodile tears over their misery.
posted by HTuttle at 1:05 PM on January 30, 2005


Matt Yglesias made a very good point that the (thankfully) relatively violence-free elections are largely due to a massive increase in security and military presence- one that's not going to be there tomorrow, or next week, or anytime afterwards.

I'm glad Iraqis are regressing into civil war, nor are there hundreds of bodies in the streets today, but anyone crowing about the turnout as if that fixes the daily problems in Iraq is as naive as Bush's "Mission Accomplished" banner was. I have a funny feeling the people claiming that these elections mean we're victorious in Iraq are the same people claiming that Bush's re-election means we're victorious in the War on Terrorism.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:11 PM on January 30, 2005


That's right, HTuttle. I am concerned that an election with no pre-established South-African end-of-apartheid style agreement to ensure the rights of a minority formerly in power, in a country already torn by vioence, in which a sizable ethnic minority was either intimidated from or morally opposed to voting, may result in civil war because I HATE FREEDOM.

That's why I believe the US should promptly invade Amsterdam.
posted by kyrademon at 1:42 PM on January 30, 2005


wonder what Western feminists think about changes in the MidEast. Or what else could have been done—save for the extreme measures of an all-out war—to pull that culture out of the Middle Ages

Allow me to interrupt your feminist pride to point out your racist ignorance. All Arab societies are not the same (culturally backward until invaded by the U.S.), and if we wanted to bring someone out of the reactionary-fundamentalist (pseudo-) "Middle Ages," we should have invaded our ally Saudi Arabia, perhaps. Certainly not Iraq, where there is a long tradition of secular society and legal protections for women. Or at least there was until sanctions and war (and Saddam Hussein's consequent abandonment of secularism and modernization of society to stoke up religious fervor in his support). Yes, there are some new hopes we might cherish for women in Iraq now. But there are also new dangers, for example, that the Iraq of the next generation will be more religious than in the last generation, with more social coercion of women to accept pseudo-traditional roles and limitations.

Do some research instead of looking at the pictures, and you'll learn the truth is more complicated. Links:

[1] WashPost, For the past four decades, Iraqi women have enjoyed some of the most modern legal protections in the Muslim world, under a civil code that prohibits marriage below the age of 18, arbitrary divorce and male favoritism in child custody and property inheritance disputes. Saddam Hussein's dictatorship did not touch those rights. But the U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council has voted to wipe them out...

[2] In many ways, Iraqi women are worse off than before U.S. forces ousted Saddam Hussein and are too afraid to play a big political role for fear of being a target of extremists, a senior U.N. official said...

[3] [4] [5]
posted by Zurishaddai at 1:55 PM on January 30, 2005


Or simply: what CunningLinguist said with more concision and less vitriol. May the future prove both our concerns misplaced.
posted by Zurishaddai at 1:57 PM on January 30, 2005


Corrected WashPost [1] link
posted by Zurishaddai at 1:59 PM on January 30, 2005


Libs aren't happy unless the world is in bondage so they can cry crocodile tears over their misery.
posted by HTuttle at 1:05 PM PST on January 30


[snap]
You really got us there!

That's why we love Gitmo and Abu Ghraib! And why we rejoice over illegal invasions that get hundreds of thousands murdered. Yup, htuttle has our number. I bow in your general direction [after I spit in your face.]
posted by nofundy at 2:09 PM on January 30, 2005


Liberals are MISERABLE!

Won't someone blowup some Iraqis, PLEASE!
posted by HTuttle at 2:13 PM on January 30, 2005


LOL, DU post says it all...

"Let's hope the resistance got voted in, or if not, they only increase the fight and take down those who betrayed their country today by voting in this fraud election."
posted by HTuttle at 2:14 PM on January 30, 2005


HTuttle, the right-wing group handjobs are in the previous thread; please let the actual discussion continue in this one without trolling. Stop bothering the grownups and we'll help you find Waldo later.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:15 PM on January 30, 2005


HTuttle, have no fear...somebody'll get to those lousy Sunnis with the telltale purple fingers first thing tomorrow, OK?
posted by alumshubby at 2:24 PM on January 30, 2005


The Elections Bush Didn't Want

As media coverage of today's elections in Iraq swims in phrases like "major test of President Bush's goal of promoting democracy," and as the Orwell Bush administration does everything it can to claim credit for their occurrence, it seems like a good moment to take a look back at how they really came about -- through a process in which Dubya and his crew were dragged against their will, kicking and screaming, every step of the way.
...


Go read more! History and a long memory does not favor Bush on this.
posted by nofundy at 2:37 PM on January 30, 2005


LOL, DU post says it all...

The main thing it says is that you couldn't find enough fodder for your wingnut trolling here. Perhaps you should do it there?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:40 PM on January 30, 2005


"FLAMING: the performance of posting messages that are deliberately hostile and insulting in the social context of a discussion board (usually on the Internet) . . . A flame is never intended to be constructive, to further clarify a discussion, or to persuade other people. The motive for flaming is never dialectic, but rather social or psychological . . . Occasionally, flamers merely wish to upset and offend other members of the forum, in which case they are trolls."

Hmm . . . yep. Proceeding to ignore HTuttle for the rest of time.

Anyway, back on topic - so, the most likely scenario now seems to be a largely Shiite nominal government, a significant autonomous Kurdish segment, and a Sunni minority not accepting the government as legitimate. Will the US find itself de facto allied with the Shiites, and will the Shiites accept this arrangement? How would this affect our relations with, say, Jordan?
posted by kyrademon at 3:03 PM on January 30, 2005


There's been little treatment of the factions within Iraq and how that will influence turnout.

USians seem to be viewing this though the lens of their own elections, which are held in a relatively homogenous ethnic environment.

No matter how much somone may be against the occupation, I can still see that someone getting to the polls so that other ethnic group doesn't get more votes. Ethnic divisions in Iraq makes me question the statement "every person who voted, no matter who for, voted against the violent insurgency."

And besides, does that mean that virutally half the population voted for the insurgency? That's how foxnews-type rhetoric will get you in touble.
posted by telstar at 3:07 PM on January 30, 2005


telestar: there are lots of things that make the Iraqi elections very different from what happens in the US, but I think you're poking in the wrong direction when you talk about a homgenous ethnic environment. The US has a large ethnic minority, previously enslaved and still disadvantaged, which plays a key part in politics on every level. We still remember what race politics were like fifty years ago.
posted by rustcellar at 3:33 PM on January 30, 2005


offtopic anal point picking.

jenleigh said:

>As far Zarquawi and his "war against democracy", let's hope they catch him alive so he can be afforded a proper trial of his peers—his own countrymen who wanted nothing more than to cast a ballot.

Zarqawi is not an Iraqi, he's a foreigner. It's in the last paragraph of that link.
posted by gsb at 3:35 PM on January 30, 2005


His country of origin isn't the point. I realize Zarqawi is Jordanian. But his subhuman "peers" these days include many Iraqis. And as the crimes he's committing are taking place on Iraqi land, wouldn't it be nice to see him on trial there for all the bloodshed he's caused in that country? Same goes for any coalition servicemen deliberately targeting or torturing Iraqis. I wouldn't mind seeing them fight charges in an Iraqi court.
posted by jenleigh at 3:41 PM on January 30, 2005


“This so-called ill treatment and torture in detention centers, stories of which were spread everywhere among the people, and later by the prisoners who were freed … were not, as some assumed, inflicted methodically, but were excesses committed by individual prison guards, their deputies, and men who laid violent hands on the detainees.”

—Rudolf Hoess, the SS commandant at Auschwitz

or

--Defenders of All Things Dubya
posted by nofundy at 3:43 PM on January 30, 2005


Only a matter of time before some off-topic Bu$hHitler idiocy was trotted out. Post that quote in enough times and it might become relevant.

Ooo, did you hear he was wearing a wire during the debates? Good thing some of you focused so hard on important issues like that—instead of helping create cogent alternatives to Bush's foreign policy regarding tyrants—or you might've elected a different leader. Instead, you got exactly what you deserved, warts and all.

Iraq's national security adviser tells CNN: "This is the greatest day in the history of this country."
posted by jenleigh at 4:13 PM on January 30, 2005


Only a matter of time before some off-topic Bu$hHitler idiocy was trotted out.

Yeah, 9 hours and 120+ comments, to be approximate. Still, I'm sure it's a big relief that you won't need to drag in any more straw men from Democratic Underground.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:26 PM on January 30, 2005


So long as we're pretending to have a rationale, intelligent forum here, 190 hours would still be too soon.

Do you think all the hysterical BushHitler-talk of the past year has done anything to help the case against Bush?

Has it occurred to you that it might be hurting it?

See also: election results, November 2004
posted by jenleigh at 4:51 PM on January 30, 2005


To amplify a little what telstar said, the Sunnis largely are reported by CBS and NBC as staying home, but the way it's reported, you'd think they were boycotting the elections. It's more like they were intimidated into staying away. I'm not clear on why -- is it because the Ba'ath party was largely Sunni?
posted by alumshubby at 4:52 PM on January 30, 2005


Actually, I do think comparisons to Hitler are off the mark. True, the US is running concentration camps now (and yes, we are, by their definition), but the nazis weren't the only ones to do that. Given that, Bush's dubious electoral victories, and his ill-advised Mid-East adventurism, he reminds me a lot more of Brezhnev.
posted by kyrademon at 4:54 PM on January 30, 2005


Another "Democratic" Underground gem: (nofundy, is that you?)
"All the media keeps talking about is how happy the Iraqis are, how high turnout was, and how "freedom" has spread to Iraq. I had to turn off CNN because they kept focusing on the so-called "voters" and barely mentioned the resistance movements at all. Where are the freedom fighters today? Are their voices silenced because some American puppets cast a few ballots?

"I can't believe the Iraqis are buying into this "democracy" bullshit. They have to know that the Americans don't want them to have power, because they know that Bush is in this for the oil, and now that he finally has it he's not going to let it go. This election is a charade. The fact is that the Iraqis have suffered during the past two years more than any people on earth at the hands of the American gestapo. Maybe they're afraid and felt they had to vote. That's the only way I can explain it to myself.

"Let's hope the resistance got voted in, or if not, they only increase the fight and take down those who betrayed their country today by voting in this fraud election."

posted by jenleigh at 5:34 PM on January 30, 2005


it IS a charade. the majority of Iraqis want us out, yet even if this assembly decided we should go, we wouldn't. And this voting today is already being overruled by Condi and the WH and Pentagon, even before the results are in.
posted by amberglow at 5:41 PM on January 30, 2005


jenleigh:
Why are you complaining about Democratic Underground on Metafilter?
posted by crank at 5:57 PM on January 30, 2005


From the Telegraph:

But, yesterday, Iraq became the most democratic country in the Arab world. What a pity that so many writers who, in other circumstances, are optimists about human progress, should shut their eyes to what is happening. In their determination to say "I told you so", they are coming perilously close to siding with jihadi murderers. Shame on them.

posted by jenleigh at 5:57 PM on January 30, 2005


Shame on the Telegraph for, besides being very right-wing, have the nerve to compare others to jihadi murderers when they shamelessly and proudly peddled the worst of Bush and Blair's lies to sell this misbegotten war--bullshit like this, for instance: British Prime Minister Tony Blair's promised dossier on Iraq is to reveal that Saddam Hussein trained some of Osama bin Laden's key lieutenants, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The dossier is also expected to disclose that the Iraqi leader has reconstructed three plants to manufacture biological and chemical weapons, it said.

posted by amberglow at 6:18 PM on January 30, 2005


Why are you complaining about Democratic Underground on Metafilter?

The same reason people point to LGF/Drudge/Free Republic when some egregious remark over there gets under their skin: to condemn it. What's the confusion?
posted by jenleigh at 6:20 PM on January 30, 2005


From raed in the middle blog:

The cowardly and corrupt bush administration, working along with the dirty allow(ie) government is coercing Iraqis to vote. The allow(ie) puppets are threatening Iraqis who don't vote that they will not get their monthly food rations.

I kinda thought on these lines. I feel this is so rushed and more for us to see how well we've installed democracy into Iraq. I'm seriously convinced only a puppet government will "win" any vote today. sigh.

/conspiracy
posted by LouReedsSon at 6:23 PM on January 30, 2005


Screw DU and Free Republic both (while remembering that folks of the ilk who comment at Free Republic control two branches of the U.S. govt., while DU folks run . . . well, what? A protest with Uncle Sams on stilts?) The more sensible commentary today is found via cheeseball PhotoShopped crap at fark.
posted by raysmj at 6:28 PM on January 30, 2005


Tongue depressors for all Liberals!
STAT!
posted by HTuttle at 6:45 PM on January 30, 2005


Hey Tuttle, way to show a good example of another viewpoint, there. You've totally convinced me of-- whatever it is you're Coultering on about.


Now.

I don't take the fact that elections have gone off with reasonable attendance and not-excessive violence () as an endorsement of anything other than the faith Iraqis have that things might improve. The ration cards might have helped, the logistics seem to be holding... I'm hopeful.
posted by chicobangs at 7:13 PM on January 30, 2005


The same reason people point to LGF/Drudge/Free Republic when some egregious remark over there gets under their skin: to condemn it. What's the confusion?

Yawn.... Then get an account and post your outrage there, where it's, you know, relevant....
posted by crank at 7:19 PM on January 30, 2005


So long as we're pretending to have a rationale, [sic] intelligent forum here

Goodness me, hasn't this thread devolved into wingnut catnip.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:21 PM on January 30, 2005


You know, what's really sad about these two threads is that, in their drive to troll and flame-bait with suggestions that liberals don't care about the Iraqis and offer suggestions about how to make the region better, the main success of the right-wing trolls has been avoiding having to do that themselves.

Honestly, am I the only one noticing this? HTuttle, jenleigh, Mick... if anything, you're just depressing. You've proven that if there's anyone here who doesn't give two shits about the Iraqis, it's you guys. None of you have said a single thing about your hopes for the future of Iraq, your ideas as to how security could improve, anything at all like that.

Instead, you've decided that today's events- events in which, mind you, several dozen people were murdered- serve one primary goal- pointing out how stupid you think liberals are on an internet message board.

It proves that Mick couldn't care less if "no one posted this yet," as he so wrapped his excuse for trolling in. He would have posted his bile about no one but him caring anyway. And I think you guys know you would to. It's because of your concern not for the world events, but your desire to feel good about yourselves- that the idea that you'd say anything to make us look wrong is prevalent.

What does my opinions on the results, and my lack of rushing to present them, matter to you? You've already proven you don't actually want to discuss anything. It doesn't matter what "the liberals" think about the results in Iraq. You don't care. You don't care about us, and you sure as hell don't care about them. What you care about is being right, which is why you're already now, halfway through reading this, formulating the clever response or the random babble or the link to a left-leaning site you hate and/or a right-leaning site that agrees with you to feel like "you've shown me" again.

And meanwhile, thousands of corpses and billions of wasted dollars across the sea, there are people- actual people- who will be murdered and slaughtered tomorrow, next week, over the next few months- because the resources that linger in the petulant recesses known as your mind are wasted on saying that I've been "defeated" because of what they did today. Look at how you've done your part to make the world a better place- tell other people that you're better than them. God, what a hero you are.

The typical response to you guys praising this war used to be asking why you're not over there fighting for real. Threads like these make me realize it's a bad thing to say- if frightened, pitiful cowards such as yourselves, desperate for validation from digital strangers, were actually over there, we'd probably all be wearing burqas by now. Instead, we send, your keyboards aglee, men who will die for your right to call me stupid for saying I don't want them to.

So tend the homefires, as you've proven to be skilled. You're right, how dare us. Shame on us. Boy, you've got us now- fuck the news and the war and the death- we liberals didn't praise the results of the election to your liking- man, we're such "hypocrates!" A victorious day, and a joyous moment of pride indeed, oh you, brave fighters of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders. May you continue to be a smarmy of one.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:30 PM on January 30, 2005


very well said, XQUZ--and very true.
posted by amberglow at 7:45 PM on January 30, 2005


Hey, I have a question: so we've marked the fingers of Iraqi voters with indelible ink so that they can't vote twice. My understanding is that the ink doesn't wear off for two weeks.

Haven't we just given the insurgents two weeks to kill the now easily-identified voters?
posted by nicwolff at 10:05 PM on January 30, 2005


telestar: there are lots of things that make the Iraqi elections very different from what happens in the US, but I think you're poking in the wrong direction when you talk about a homogenous ethnic environment. The US has a large ethnic minority, previously enslaved and still disadvantaged, which plays a key part in politics on every level. We still remember what race politics were like fifty years ago.

Sorry, I really should have said relatively geographically ethnically homogenous (and tripped over my tongue while saying it.) There is no question that there are ethnic divisions within the US electorate. However, those divisions are not reflected as geographical territories nearly as much in roughly tripartite Iraq. Recall that two rival former disenfranchised factions (shiite and kurdish) are vying for representation in a parliamentary Iraq.

At any rate, I tend to think that the winners of this election, no matter what the ostensible outcome will be the multi-national megacorps. Just as it is in the US. Ah, democracy.
posted by telstar at 11:57 PM on January 30, 2005


People forget that even the 'miracle' elections of South Africa were done under a cloud of potential violence. Some extreme right wing Afrikaner groups set off car bombs and KwaZulu-Natal (province on the east coast) was literally on the verge of a civil war between the Inkatha Freedom Party (who were threatening to boycott and make KZN 'independent') and the ANC. Localised clashes in townships between party supporters and killings did occur. Only at the very last minute (with ballot papers printed without them on) did the IFP actually capitulate and take part. Even today there is still some sporadic violence in KZN especially in the rural areas.

In SA we also had 2 years of negotiating before any elections took place, something the Iraqi's have not had however. Of course SA was not under US occupation but it was still technically under the rule of white minority govt at the time.

What's happening in Iraq is great and I hope that the Iraqis use the election as a starting point to work together. As long as the election results are respected by all (or at least the majority, those who don't respect the results will find themselves more and more marginalised as has happened here) and the role of the US in running the country becomes less and less then I think things will work out alright.
posted by PenDevil at 12:41 AM on January 31, 2005


PenDevil: But the situations in Iraq and South African weren't precisely comparable, primarily for the reason you just gave: They took place after coalition-building, negotiations, etc. The danger with these elections, as I understand it, is that Shiites came out in force, at least in large part, because their leaders saw it as a chance to gain majority power (and they didn't know a damn thing about hardly any of the candidates, they only voted for the Shiite party). The Sunnis, meanwhile, largely stayed home. If their elites don't see the new government as legitimate, and the Shiites form a conservative religious government, etc., you're in big trouble. And the U.S. risks pissing off Shiite leaders if they're seen as selling them out, and overturning in any way the results of this election.
posted by raysmj at 4:08 AM on January 31, 2005


True, but I still think things can be go ahead relatively well. The constitution of Iraq has yet to be written and hopefully there will be some kind of federal system in place, mainly to placate the Kurds but it will apply to the Sunni's as well, where state and local govt is given a decent chunk of power.

Perhaps the first govt can be a negotiated 'Government of National Unity' such as what we had in SA for the first four years. It certainly helped in the transition and the ANC were willing to do it (they won 67% of the vote in '94 they certainly didn't have to) to quell fears and get investment going. Once that transitionary period is over the Sunni might be more willing to take part in elections next time around.
posted by PenDevil at 4:28 AM on January 31, 2005


PenDevil: It'd be nice if your optimism turns out to be dead on, but I doubt it was the power of positive thinking that created a democratic South Africa alone, just as it didn't create a democratic Spain and Portugal, or a democratic Eastern Europe, etc. It took negotiation, a recognition by elites that democratic government was in the long-term best interests of everyone (the majority power in South Africa willingly gave up most of its power, it wasn't taken away by force or especially by the force of a foreign army), charismatic personalities who tempered their radicalism or threw it completely behind them and showed maturity, etc.

At the same time, if candidates wouldn't show their names on the ballots, will they actually show up for gatherings of the new assembly? I've heard no one address that question in any news report, of the cheerleading sort or otherwise.
posted by raysmj at 4:54 AM on January 31, 2005


Sure it's not just positive thinking but as you say, it is better in the long term for the Shi'ite politicians to accomodate the Sunni's at least in the early years.

Off Topic: the majority power in South Africa willingly gave up most of its power, it wasn't taken away by force or especially by the force of a foreign army
Well I think the 200 years of Dutch and British occupation (and the preservation of their policies by the Nationalist govt, after all it was the British who basically invented apartheid to preserve English miners jobs in SA) probably had something to do with it rather than the majority population of SA voluntarily giving their power away. For all intents and purposes it was taken away by force.
posted by PenDevil at 5:29 AM on January 31, 2005


Man, I really, really hope this is the turning point in Iraq and not another "turning the corner" political lie that the neocon nuts keep promising on and not delivering.
Both the US and Iraq could use some good news and a change in direction.
I fear this is just the opening act to all out civil war.
Hopefully I'm just too pessimistic but every time the wing nuts start crowing about their political victory against the "damn liberals" it seems everything turns to shit.
Either way, good or bad, credit or blame, I hold still intend to hold those in charge accountable, regardless of what the "Defenders" think of it.
Their track record to date is so miserable its really hard to be optimistic.
posted by nofundy at 5:35 AM on January 31, 2005


PenDevil: I meant the people who'd had the majority power in the government, not the majority of the population. It was a white minority that controlled the government, but they had control. Similarly, a minority held most of the cards in Iraq for long before Saddam. And they've had their power taken away by force.
posted by raysmj at 5:52 AM on January 31, 2005


Ah sorry was confuzzled there.
posted by PenDevil at 6:46 AM on January 31, 2005


Their track record to date is so miserable its really hard to be optimistic.

There's no reason at all to be optimistic--we've been there almost 2 years already, and there's only like 12,000 trained Iraqi forces?!? wtf? We're not leaving there for years, and until we do leave, there's no real democracy there--we set these elections (one of a set of three) and we controlled how, where, and when they would happen.
posted by amberglow at 6:47 AM on January 31, 2005


PenDevil: My bad.
posted by raysmj at 6:53 AM on January 31, 2005


Although even then the Nats didn't give up so easily. The economy of SA was completely broke (sanctions were pretty effective) by the late 80's and was bordering on near collapse and was basically artificially propped up by the govt. Had it done so the ability of the Nats to govern would have been pretty much been reduced to nothing and things could've gone pear shaped quickly. They knew they get out of power quickly or they would be facing a disastrous uprising and potentially bloody civil war.

Had they been economically more strong, who know how long they might have lasted. Thankfully it's not something we have to worry about.
posted by PenDevil at 6:55 AM on January 31, 2005


U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote :
Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here.

Pending more detailed reports, neither the State Department nor the White House would comment on the balloting or the victory of the military candidates, Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, who was running for president, and Premier Nguyen Cao Ky, the candidate for vice president.

A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in January, 1966, to which President Johnson gave his personal commitment when he met Premier Ky and General Thieu, the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.

The purpose of the voting was to give legitimacy to the Saigon Government, which has been founded only on coups and power plays since November, 1963, when President Ngo Dinh Deim was overthrown by a military junta.

Few members of that junta are still around, most having been ousted or exiled in subsequent shifts of power.

Significance Not Diminished

The fact that the backing of the electorate has gone to the generals who have been ruling South Vietnam for the last two years does not, in the Administration's view, diminish the significance of the constitutional step that has been taken.

The hope here is that the new government will be able to maneuver with a confidence and legitimacy long lacking in South Vietnamese politics. That hope could have been dashed either by a small turnout, indicating widespread scorn or a lack of interest in constitutional development, or by the Vietcong's disruption of the balloting.

American officials had hoped for an 80 per cent turnout. That was the figure in the election in September for the Constituent Assembly. Seventy-eight per cent of the registered voters went to the polls in elections for local officials last spring.

Before the results of the presidential election started to come in, the American officials warned that the turnout might be less than 80 per cent because the polling place would be open for two or three hours less than in the election a year ago. The turnout of 83 per cent was a welcome surprise. The turnout in the 1964 United States Presidential election was 62 per cent.

Captured documents and interrogations indicated in the last week a serious concern among Vietcong leaders that a major effort would be required to render the election meaningless. This effort has not succeeded, judging from the reports from Saigon.

NYT. 9/4/1967: p. 2.


Deja vu?

Ok, now everybody cheer for the omnipotent Dubya!!
Yeah, yeah, I know, its the same old "why do you hate America?" thing every time someone points out the fallacy of this administration.
But if they never tire of being triumphalist and wrong, I will not tire of pointing out how ridiculous they are.
posted by nofundy at 7:38 AM on January 31, 2005


Now, when do the citizens of the world get to do something truly meaningful and vote Rupert Murdoch out of office?
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:15 AM on January 31, 2005




Good thing that op/ed isn't divisive or anything.
posted by shawnj at 9:02 AM on January 31, 2005


Awesome, nofundy.

I'm glad that the Iraqi people got to vote, but I'm underwhelmed by its ultimate lack of impact that we all know it will have. Iraq is not getting the government that represents the will of the majority of voters.- those running the show from Washington have said as much. I'm also sorely disappointed that after all the years and bloodshed, that this "election" is the best we could put together. Campaigning in secret?

Yes, the elections were technically a good thing- we still owed them better than they got, and patting yourself on the back for a "good enough" job is rather unfortunate.

BTW, why is HTuttle still allowed to post here, like at all?
posted by mkultra at 9:05 AM on January 31, 2005


"We all know" that George Bush is a dolt, and will never become President of the United States, and that only a stupid person could ever vote for him.

"We all know" that you are hopelessly, painfully, detached from reality.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:12 AM on January 31, 2005


Check back with me in 6 months, PP, and we'll have a little chat about how well that new government is coming along, and how well it lines up with ballot results.
posted by mkultra at 9:24 AM on January 31, 2005


I'm shocked that a Newspaper as moderate and measured as the NY Post would call the Iraq election a great success for the Bush Administration so soon after it was done.

Seriously, Paris, an op-ed from Neocon sychophant John Podhoretz? You have got be shitting us all.
posted by psmealey at 9:27 AM on January 31, 2005


suggested reading, no matter what side of this issue you take.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:53 AM on January 31, 2005


Label him/me a neocon. Or turn off your labelmaker and just consider things for what they are.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:55 AM on January 31, 2005


Label him/me a neocon. Or turn off your labelmaker and just consider things for what they are.

Paranoiacs? The America-hating liberal you're so concerned with is a figment of your imagination.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:00 AM on January 31, 2005


Hey, I hear Howard Dean will head the DNC, and Hillary will run in '08. Get ready for 40 years of George Bush and his successors. Sorry.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:04 AM on January 31, 2005


Label him/me a neocon.

No offense Paris, but aren't you the definition of a neocon? You were a Bush-hating Democrat elitist until 9/11.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:05 AM on January 31, 2005


Label him/me a neocon. Or turn off your labelmaker and just consider things for what they are.

Reading comprehension: C-. I thought you said you were an attorney? I didn't say anything about you. As far as JP goes, I said "neocon sycophant". He may or may not be a neocon himself, but he certainly has no problem writing baldly servile flatter of whatever they do, without critique.
posted by psmealey at 10:15 AM on January 31, 2005


I beg to differ about your interpretation of my interpretation. The whole neocon thing, I really don't get. For better or worse, the Republican Party, at least the "W" portion of it, is the new progressive political force, whereas the Democrats and/or the left, have become the today's conservatives: they're affraid to change; they view everything the way they did circa 1965 or 1975.

I like the President, but whether it's by default, for lack of another sane alternative, is unclear. So I don't really know what a neoconservative is, really.

But please, please, please, get me a menu with someone less disgraceful than John Kerry from which to choose my political dishes.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:10 AM on January 31, 2005


Paris, you're blurring the definitions to the point of incomprehension.

Just because Bush is interested in invading every country doesn't make them progressive. It might be considered liberal, as in not-isolationist, but not progressive. And they sure as fuck ain't liberal in any sort of domestic way.

If you think the Democrats are conservative compared to 1965, then the Republicans are 10x more conservative seeing as they view everything like it was still the Dark Ages of Europe.
posted by destro at 12:34 PM on January 31, 2005


Destro, you ain't seen nothing yet!
posted by ParisParamus at 12:41 PM on January 31, 2005


meep.
posted by destro at 1:27 PM on January 31, 2005


what Paris fails to realize is that he's on their enemies list as well.
posted by amberglow at 1:38 PM on January 31, 2005


Actually, what you fail to realize is that an enemies list is a figment of your very active imagination.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:58 PM on January 31, 2005


More on the food ration angle that was mentioned by Vulpyne and LouReedsSon.
posted by danOstuporStar at 2:11 PM on January 31, 2005


You know, there are still people walking around arguing that communism in its "true" form is viable, and would be a good thing. A lot of you here on Metafilter will be arguing 10, 20 30, years from now that "W" was the worst President ever, and that Iraq is not "really" democratic, because it became so thanks to an "illegal" war. The Pacifica crowd of 2025 will be the Metafilter crowd.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:19 PM on January 31, 2005


Next time, on MeFi, ParisParamus outlines for us the further adventures of the tiny mind-people he has populated his pathetic delusional microcosm with.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:38 PM on January 31, 2005


ParisParamus: "I like the President, but whether it's by default, for lack of another sane alternative, is unclear. So I don't really know what a neoconservative is, really."

The first neoconservatives were communists and other leftists who lost it after viewing the train-wreck that was the American Left in the '60s. Today's neoconservatives follow in their footsteps, and are fairly intellectual.

The best conservative magazines in the country today-- the Weekly Standard and Commentary-- are neoconservative. Also, you can get a run-down of their ideas by visiting the nice people at the Project for a New American Century.

But I should say it again: read Commentary. Commentary is not only the best conservative magazine out there, it's the best political thought going on in the world today, IMO. And the fiction and music reviews are good, too.
posted by koeselitz at 5:49 PM on January 31, 2005


Thanks for that, koeselitz. Well, calling the Democratic party a trainwreck does resonate...I've been meaning to buy Commentary--but I'll be sure to put it under the New Yorker when a woman comes over the house...
posted by ParisParamus at 6:02 PM on January 31, 2005


SOME OF YOU ARE HOPELESSLY LIBERAL. PLEASE TURN IMMEDIATELY TO WBAI AND LEAVE THIS FREQUENCY.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:24 PM on January 31, 2005


It's amazing how it's both entertaining to watch Paris' schizophrenia kick in, yet simultaneously depressing to see every selfish comment of his increases the proof of how little he cares about the Iraqi people, or American soldiers.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:00 PM on January 31, 2005


but I'll be sure to put it under the New Yorker when a woman comes over the house...

Your cleaning lady doesn't care what you read.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:13 PM on January 31, 2005


I find this whole conversation amusing. You have your diehard Bush people who would have trumpeted the elections no matter what.

However... I would like to point out one thing: if the election participation percentage had been say, 20%, antiwar libs would be trumpeting to the heavens how the election was a massive failure... it would be all over the place.

So the election has more people participate than anticipated, and it's still.... a massive failure.

Was there any mark that the election could have hit that those people who mock it would have considered it even remotely a success? Just curious.
posted by Drylnn at 7:30 PM on January 31, 2005


no deaths, and a true election to directly elect members of the government, with nationwide, staffed polling places, and open campaigning, with dates set by the Iraqi people and not us, and a vote on whether we should stay or not.
posted by amberglow at 7:39 PM on January 31, 2005


DryInn: Point out where someone said that, exactly. The main problem that was pointed out by some skeptics were problems with Sunnis turnout, the lack of information and even names on candidates provided to Iraqis (comically noted in some of the Fark graphics), etc. If you don't want to accept the fact that - as I heard on NPR this morning - that the areas in which heavy turnout occured have bans on movie theaters, plenty of gender-related restricictions, etc., if that seems like freedom to you, or if that's too much nuance for you, sorry.

We all hope it turns out, the sensible ones among us. I even read some usual non-Bush-loving suspects on here talking about how they were pleased to see what happened. I'm highly skeptical as to the long-term meaning of this, though, and see every reason to be.
posted by raysmj at 7:47 PM on January 31, 2005


Gorbachev, who knows a little about moving a country from one system to another: Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev called the Iraqi parliamentary elections a profanation.

In an interview with the Interfax news agency, he said the elections are “very far from what true elections are. And even though I am a supporter of elections and of the transfer of power to the people of Iraq, these elections were fake.”

“I don’t think these elections will be of any use. They may even have a negative impact on the country. Democracy cannot be imposed or strengthened with guns and tanks,” the agency quoted Gorbachev as saying.

posted by amberglow at 7:55 PM on January 31, 2005


Some Just Voted for FoodMany Iraqis had expressed fears before the election that their monthly food rations would be cut if they did not vote. They said they had to sign voter registration forms in order to pick up their food supplies.

Their experiences on the day of polling have underscored many of their concerns about questionable methods used by the U.S.-backed Iraqi interim government to increase voter turnout.

Just days before the election, 52 year-old Amin Hajar who owns an auto garage in central Baghdad had said: ”I'll vote because I can't afford to have my food ration cut...if that happened, me and my family would starve to death.”

Hajar told IPS that when he picked up his monthly food ration recently, he was forced to sign a form stating that he had picked up his voter registration. He had feared that the government would use this information to track those who did not vote.

Calls to the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq (IECI) and to the Ministry of Trade, which is responsible for the distribution of the monthly food ration, were not returned.

posted by amberglow at 7:58 PM on January 31, 2005


"If you don't want to accept the fact that - as I heard on NPR this morning - that the areas in which heavy turnout occured have bans on movie theaters, plenty of gender-related restricictions, etc., if that seems like freedom to you, or if that's too much nuance for you, sorry."

First of all, you are putting words into my mouth.

Secondly, your example shows things that are not necessarily connected. It's like me saying that I should be skeptical of citizens doing charity in areas where government agencies like the police have beaten poor people. The people voting are not necessarily an arm of their government. I laughed when I read people bemoaning the slate of "You should vote for these people" when the Democrat and Republican parties hand out the exact same things just outside the polls on election day here in the U.S.

I'm not saying all is rosy. But I am saying that freedom has to have a first step somewhere. It can start out in areas where it has no real history and that doesn't mean it is instantly corrupt.
posted by Drylnn at 8:45 PM on January 31, 2005


Er... should have said "arm of their previous government" or "those enacting bannings and such"
posted by Drylnn at 8:46 PM on January 31, 2005


Elections Are Not Democracy
The United States has essentially stopped trying to build a democratic order in Iraq, and is simply trying to gain stability and legitimacy

Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek
posted by amberglow at 8:58 PM on January 31, 2005


Leaving aside the words-in-mouth thing . . . I don't get your analogy at all. And I believe the concerns about telling people who to vote for - I don't see that in this thread, but heard reports addressing concerns along these lines - came from inside polling places, which would be absolutely considered election fraud within the United States and all democracies of longstanding. (I sat through a whole three days of an election fraud hearing in which just this sort of "help" - in this case, for elderly shut-ins for who were brought absentee ballots in a county-level election. The results were tossed out).
posted by raysmj at 8:59 PM on January 31, 2005


Thank you for that last post, amberglow. Zakaria is hardly a radical leftist.
posted by raysmj at 9:02 PM on January 31, 2005


he was on the Daily Show tonight, and it reminded me to go look and see what he had to say--i like him a lot--smart, reasonable, and informed.
posted by amberglow at 9:08 PM on January 31, 2005


Your original comment was to imply a connection between high voter turnout and bans in those areas on various things. My response, done through poor analogy, is that those things are not necessarily connected and that any connection is VERY debateable. Just because in the past in those areas there have been issues of inequality/bans does not automatically imply fraud or wrongdoing or something wrong with the election. These areas do not have a history of freedom, and under the previous political system, there were widespread problems. That does not mean that there is a connection between turnout in the election and past history. We have enough problems with actual problems in elections in the world (including the U.S.) without looking to make connections that are very specious at best.


"And I believe the concerns about telling people who to vote for - I don't see that in this thread, but heard reports addressing concerns along these lines - came from inside polling places, which would be absolutely considered election fraud within the United States and all democracies of longstanding."

I've voted in several elections (granted, this was in Florida), and almost everytime, just outside the poll (usually near the street), there's someone handing out the "Vote for these people" or "We say vote for this slate of candidates" or "You should vote for this group". It happens every time, usually in the interim elections as well. By the end of the day, you could sweep up piles of papers for both parties that say those things. So, on the one hand, while I think they don't belong at the polls, if I accept that we allow them here, then I accept we allow "The Ayatollah Sistani says you should vote for these people." That's what free choice is. If you choose to vote for the slate/person who Sistani, or the Grinch, or your dog says you should, you are making a conscious choice. The difference is when that conscious choice is taken away by something like "Vote for Bob, or I'll kill your family in the middle of the night." That would be a problem, but I don't see real signs of that (yet) in the reports I've seen.
posted by Drylnn at 11:28 PM on January 31, 2005


It wasn't bans IN THE PAST. It was bans that existed now, after Saddam. And the rest of your post ignores my content completely in favor of how you want to see things. So your criticism is taken with a grain of salt.
posted by raysmj at 3:19 AM on February 1, 2005


Train wreck of an election
posted by amberglow at 6:37 AM on February 1, 2005


http://www.suntimes.com/output/brown/cst-nws-brown01.html

Again, enjoy your left delusional exile.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:08 AM on February 1, 2005


Wow, eleven comments and PeePee can't say anything about the Iraqis, only his hatred for other Americans.

I hope you're keeping up with the letters to all those soldiers' families, Paris, telling them how happy you are for their sacrifice, dying to make you feel better about yourself.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:43 PM on February 1, 2005


Communism (in its "true" form, of course) is viable, and would be a good thing.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:04 PM on February 1, 2005


Paris, You do not own their courage. They did not stand in line to provide American dilettantes with easy rhetorical weapons, so you don't own their courage, ... They did not stand in line to be the instruments of tawdry vilification and triumphal hooting from bloghound commandos. They did not stand in line to become useful cudgels for cheap American political thuggery, so you don't own their courage, Freeper Nation.
posted by amberglow at 7:05 PM on February 1, 2005


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