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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Stuffing ballots

Back in July, Seymour Hersh reported on Iraq's January elections and claimed the Bush administration had covertly supported Iraqi candidates and parties with close ties to the White House.

Last weekend's election on Iraq's referendum was yet another attempt to bring "democracy and freedom" to the country. But what of the legitimacy of the election itself?

Juan Cole writes that large voting irregularities appear in one province.

The Asian Times suggests that, "in the January election, the Kurds dealt with the problem of being a relatively small minority in the [Nineveh] province by stuffing the ballot boxes."

The New York Times, meanwhile, reports that despite nearly three years of propaganda suggesting the so-called democratic process will bring stability, "senior officials say the intelligence reports flowing over their desks in recent months argue that even if democratic institutions take hold, the insurgency may strengthen. And that possibility has created a quandary for an administration that desperately wants to equate democracy-building with winning the war, but so far has not been able to match the two."

In Australia, our media offers little more than platitudes and "democracy on the march" stories.


Blogger Pete's Blog said...

I agree AL.

The optimism about democracy improving things in Iraq is simplistic. Analysis of election results is simplistic. And election rigging by the Iraqi's and/or Ameicans is quite likely in marginal provinces.

The editorial from The Australian (your hotlink) looks very much like the wisdom of Chairman Rupert.

"A parliament, and a security force, that more closely reflect the diversity of Iraq will gain the allegiance of many more Iraqi hearts and minds." Sounds like John Wayne in "The Green Berets".

How a Sunni balanced security force can be associated with the elections is a desperate leap of logic.

Watch Rupert's space - much straw clutching to follow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:12:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

You hit the nail on the head gigolo pete,

I would be surprised if the celebratory columns weren't written weeks ago read to roll out on cue.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 2:56:00 am  
Blogger Human said...

Hi. Some other links on the same story -;_ylt=Ai7y.TkEYWOFtXkDvisMi29X6GMA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Peace. Your fellow Human

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 3:41:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Yeah, maybe News Ltd. even published a GUIDE to marginal seats!

Correct me if I'm wrong but foreigners can support candidates in Australia, yes?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 6:46:00 am  
Blogger Human said...

ABC News did comment(6:37pm EST) on suspected ballot stuffing and even showed a guy filling out multiple ballots. Peace. your fellow Human

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 8:45:00 am  
Blogger Marcus said...

It's starting to sicken me, witnessing how facile the Australia news media really is.

Bet getting back to Iraq - what's to be done? What can be done? Is peace even possible over there?

Damn this godawful war for oil.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 9:12:00 am  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

Marcus said...

getting back to Iraq - what's to be done? What can be done? Is peace even possible over there?

Well I don't think those who created the problem are going to be the solution.

One thing that may work is to hand the problem to the UN and have it invite peacekeepers from Muslim states well outside the region to take over security with the US, UK, us, Italy picking up the tab.

But I can't see Bush going for it. He's got too much at stake, pride, favours owing etc. Blair probably would, Howard I'm not sure. ATM the war seems to be a slight positive for him, though that may change if/when the body bags start coming home, or bombs go off here.

Even just packing up and leaving may be a better option. Yes, everyone is predicting disaster, but often the reality isn't anywhere near as bad as is feared.

It was already clear that we couldn't win in Vietnam when I first went there in the late 60s, but just as now we 'had to stay the course' to avert disaster. This was still the prevailing ethos when I returned a couple of years late and probably still the mantra in late 1974, early '75.

While the early years after the Commie takeover were no picnic, it was nowhere near as bad as predicted. Indeed many times more misery was inflicted on the long suffering Vietnamese people in those intervening 8 or so years than came afterwards.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 4:45:00 pm  

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