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Sunday, 6 February 2005

Iraqi Election!

And who could doubt the credibility of such an election, run under an occupational authority which has a perfect record of flawless elections, especially in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004? Who could doubt the credibility when the observers weren't even in the same country? When the Sunni's "boycotted" the vote by having virtually no polling places open in their regions?

Al Jazeera is reporting charges of election fraud in Kurdistan. Kurds are the largest ethnic group with no country. During the 11 years of the US-run siege against Iraq, the Kurds lived in a semi-autonomous region. There is a lot of oil in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurds have reason to want to maintain autonomy. The US has reason to want to maintain good ties with Kurds. So the US media takes a hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil approach to the "first free elections in the history of Iraq." And perhaps there is widespread fraud leading to a situation where the US gets to help itself to northern Iraq's oil and the rest of Iraq gets squat for it.

Was there election fraud? How could I possibly know? How could anyone know? The burden of proof is upon those running the elections. The occupational authority needs to demonstrate that they were free and fair. But an occupational government is inherently untrustworthy. Which is why monitors are needed. Without monitors, it's like having Tinkerbell elections. The US press gives a standing ovation. They do believe in fairies. The folks in the Middle East aren't as convinced. Democracy should not be a faith-based activity. The elections are only as valuable as they are perceived to be. We haven't given anyone but US domestic audiences much in the way of persuasion.

Al Jazeera has constantly been annoying us, what with their uncensored reporting of news. It would be so much better if they just repeated Pentagon propaganda. But don't worry. They're for sale. Soon Rupert Murdoch will own them too.

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