Iraqi elections will NEVER take place. Sound familiar?

Any of these “reasons” sound familiar? They should. Most of them were mentioned prior to the Afghan elections and by the same news sources. Guess we will just have to wait and see won’t we…

The largest political party representing Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority announced Monday that it would drop out of the Jan. 30 election, dealing a fresh blow to the vote’s credibility on the same day the top Shiite Muslim candidate survived a car bombing.

But voter registration in Sunni areas has lagged far behind registration in other parts of Iraq, according to Iraq’s top election official, Hussain Hindawi. Voters have not been able to register at all in Anbar province, home to the restive cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. Candidates have proved scarce as well: The 41 openings on Anbar’s proposed provincial council have drawn only 50 candidates.

In another troubling sign, Western diplomats noted that preliminary indicators of voter participation nationwide are markedly lower than expected, judging by the sluggish early rate at which Iraqis have offered corrections to voter rolls.

Officials blame the problems on poor security and a late start in public information campaigns intended to explain the election to a population ruled by dictatorship for three decades. Leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party also cited security as a reason for withdrawing the Sunni party’s slate of 275 candidates.

“We asked to postpone the election long ago because we believe the security situation in the country is not suitable to hold elections,” Mohsen Abdul Hamid, head of the party, told reporters in Baghdad.

"The Iraqis don’t understand the elections yet," he said. “We need enough time, at least six months, to prepare ourselves. . . . The security issue is very complicated.” [/quote]

Washington Post

This from Reuters

[quote] Ahmed Rashid says elections should be postponed until Spring 2005 Analysts believe more time required to bring about stability in the country

Political analysts say President Hamid Karzai is under pressure from his backers in Washington to hold the vote as soon as possible, so it can be touted as a foreign policy victory by President George W Bush as he seeks re-election in November.

But the consequences could be seriously damaging for Afghanistan, they warn.

Well, Fred, you knocked that one out of the park. Good work.

As the old saying goes: you’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the confusion.

You, sir, are one of those rare individuals who can make meaningful contributions to both sides of the equation. I salute you.

Haha Spook:

You have been quite the funster lately and seem to be showing all the signs of an early case of “sense of humor” development. Thank you for your kind salute and I will accept it gladly in the spirit it was offered. Rely on me to continue to regale you with even more problems and confusion!

Well looks like the elections have taken place and that the turnout was 72 percent. Looks like there was no confusion among Iraqis or poll workers about how the process works. Looks like there was in fact no need to postpone the election because of security concerns or poor logistical support. Looks like the only thing predicted that may turn out to be true is lower Sunni participation. Looks like the media was mostly wrong again. But given their arrogance, expect to hear ONLY about low Sunni participation in the upcoming weeks. 72 percent is still a rough estimate and this may change but either way the results and the LACK of serious violence can only be qualified as a MAJOR F***ing success Boo Hah!

Why do you say the media was wrong. Actually the media reported there were difficulties with holding elections and that some officials did not believe they could take place.

You blame news agencies for providing us with news about diplomats, officials and other experts such as analysts. Better to provide the news than to censor it. If political analysts say President Hamid Karzai is under pressure, why not say it in a Reuters article?

A news article can contain expert opinions, and an opinion piece can contain an armchair expert’s opinion. I am more likely to read the news article, so the news companies are likely to uphold at least a minimum of ethics in journalism and provide news.


I take your point but it is the emphasis that I am trying to highlight. While the difficulties were certainly there, the emphasis seemed to indicate that these results would never take place. So when they do we are all left surprised? astounded? No. I truly believe that the media which votes 90 percent democrat is and always has been against Bush and his projects and therefore choose to report on facts but only those that provide a negative picture of the events. I think that this lack of balance borders on unethical. No, let me rephrase that. I would say this report is now highly unethical and in direct violation of the journalistic code of ethcis. How’s that?

The titles of the two articles you posted were:
Sunni Party Pulls Out of Iraq Vote As Doubts Grow
Attacks raise doubts over Afghan elections

If there is a profundity of expert all giving the same opinions the writer can make a news story about it.

Journalists have a written code of ethics which they must follow. One such list is given by the International Federation of Journalists. Is there something that you believe the news agencies are not doing that is an ethics violation? Or do you think that the ethics code must be amended, such that a news writer must research detractions to his journalistic observations?

64% of newspaper reporters lean left while only 15% of them lean right. This can contribute to a bias. Perhaps the writer uses inaccurate statistics to paint a picture of the world in a certain way. Perhaps the writer will choose experts and sources to make a news article that might better be put in the opinion section of the newspaper. However, I think you have chosen two stories that make the conservative side look bad, but are accurate. I do not know of many experts who were saying that Iraq election were going to go well. Even the White House and the military in Iraq were giving their doubts.

I do see your point twocs but I still think that the Western media is almost routing for disasters while choosing to ignore anything that might give Bush credit or reflect well upon him. I really do believe this negative drumbeat which we also saw under Reagan is intentional and calculated to give Republican policies and presidents negative coverage. This has been documented. The bias is fine but when it is trumpeted as objective new and when the editors and reporters are complicit in this endeavor I find it objectionable and I find it unethical. Do you see where I am coming from? Editorials are for the opinion page not the front page or anywhere else.

Dear Fred and all,

I thought you might enjoy this article:


72% of what? Registered voters or people eligible to vote or people of voting age?

A list of sources would be useful. Who was monitoring the election? Presumably they recorded actual numbers.

[quote=“hexuan”]72% of what? Registered voters or people eligible to vote or people of voting age?

A list of sources would be useful. Who was monitoring the election? Presumably they recorded actual numbers.[/quote] … p?ID=13745

[quote] Officials claim national voter turnout has been 72 percent


Thanks. I would still be interested to see raw numbers. I’m sure they will be published in due course after the election.

While it’s still too early to tell, the latest figures are about 60%

If you ignore the smaller minorities like the Turkmen, and accept the rough population estimates of 60% Shiite, 20% Kurd and 20% Sunni, that would give figures of (very roughly)

Shiite: 60% x 70% turnout= 42%

Kurd 20%x 70% turnout= 14%

Sunni 20% x20% turnout = 4%

Pre-election turnout predictions clustered in the high 50% range- 57% was the figure I saw the most- so it’s better then expected, I would guess largely due to the very good security- banning cars was a great idea.

Let’s hope this gets the message through to the Sunnis to get on the bus- with the elections over I don’t think the Shiites and Kurds are going to put up with getting suicide-bombed for much longer.

Oh, and for a bit of historical perspective:


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.[/quote]

Actually does anyone still doubt that the South Vietnamese did not want to be communist? The Viet Cong had been completely defeated in the Tet offensive. The 1975 fall of Saigon occurred not because of a successful insurgency but because the US stood by and and allowed the North to invade without even sending supplies much less air support to the South Vietnamese Government. Thansk Democrat Senators! History applauds your understanding that communism was the wave of the future!

"It may be easily forgotten in the post-election spin that Sunday’s vote was not the Bush administration’s idea

Truer words never spoken. Let’s just hope that Iraq fares better than the US occupied territories of Italy, Germany, and Japan.

… 50 years later, and there are still US troops on the ground.

… 50 years later, and the long-suffering, subjegated Italians, Germans and Japanese continue in their futile drive for self-determination.

… Wondering, when the US occupiers will finally leave?

… Wondering, when they will finally experience the sweet taste of freedom and self-government?

Italy, Germany, Iraq and Japan and did not ask to have their fake, puppet-democracies installed in their countries. These “democratic” governments were forced upon them by the violence and aggression of the US war-machine. And now they are paying the price.

With the current neocon cabal continuing to occupy the White House, not only shall the Iraqis continue to thirst for an end to US occupation, but the oppressed people of Italy, Germany, and Japan as well – who have suffered at the heel of US forces for even longer. :cry:

Vietnam might be a better analogy in that it, like Iraq, never declared war on the U.S. and also had a strong insurgency and deep ideological divide with the U.S.

Which part of my statement do you hold is factually untrue? The Iraqi peoples’ drive to end the U.S. occupation or the existence of a neo-conservative movement with a distinct philosophical agenda that includes long-term occupation of Iraq?

“We should establish and maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the region . . . .”

I really can’t believe that you can, in good conscience, sit there and defend the continuing (after 50 years! – talk about “long term”) US occupation of places like Italy and Japan. Yes, you are right that they declared war on the US – but don’t you think they’ve paid their penance for that after 50 years!? Do you want us to go on punishing them with US military occupation forever?

Vietnam, is a great analogy – but of course it is an analogy of the other side of the coin: it is an example of a happy ending. Unlike Japan or South Korea, Vietnam escaped from its nightmare of US occupation. As a result, Vietnam is a vibrant, open democracy, with freedom, civil rights, and material prosperity for its citizens that the the poor US occupied peasant states of South Korea and Japan can only envy.

So I applaud you for bringing in a ray of hope in the midst of this depressing subject. And if the Baathists terrorists in Iraq (or the isolationists in the US) are successful --and the US pulls its troops out of Iraq as it did in Vietnam, then yes – maybe – Iraq can end up as well off as Vietnam, rather than suffering South Korea/Japan type fate. But frankly, I don’t see this happy ending materializing for the Iraqis. I have little confidence that the terrorists or the isolationists will be successful in overcoming the neocon juggernaut.

I disagree with neither. History has clearly shown us that a sovereign, independent democracy CANNOT coexist with US troops present on its soil. All you have to do is look at the “nightmare” countries I have mentioned to see evidence of this inherent contradiction.

So you can make excuses for the continuing US subjegation of Italy or Germany if you want to (i.e. “Oh… but they attacked us first!”). Or you can stick your head in the sand and pretend that Iraq may still free itself of US troops and end up with the kind of prosperous democracies that the Vietnamese or North Koreans enjoy.

But I see a much darker picture. I see NO excuse for the continuing US occupation of ANY country, whether it’s Iraq, Japan, Italy, South Korea, Germany or any other. And each of these sad cases has taught me, that as long as US troops are on the ground in another country – there can be no freedom for that country, no independence, and no hope.

Satire without substance is just silliness.