Mr Soul...how about the Iraqi election??

got nothing?

Come on Mike…you must have some cloud you can ride in on here…

*Voters were delighted. Now I feel that Saddam is really gone,'' said Fatima Ibrahim, smiling as she headed home after voting in Irbil, in the Kurdish northern region. She was 14 and a bride of just three months when her husband, father and brother were rounded up in a campaign of ethnic cleansing under Saddam Hussein. None have ever been found.*<br><br>* The election was hailed as a success around the globe, with President Bush declaring: The world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East.’’ Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Iraqis showed ``the courage to stand up to (violence) and we should support them.’'

In Europe, both opponents and supporters of the Iraq war came together to praise the election, and the European Union’s foreign policy chief said the milestone would pay off with more aid. *


Were the long lines of people anxious to vote for the first time in 50 years all part of a right wing smear campaign against Hussein???

Well, the rub comes from that there were only very specific regions that could vote without getting shot at, namely the Kurds and the Shiites. Central Iraq where all the problems are polling staff didn’t even show up out of fear. Than when you look at the statistics of elgible voters to actually those who registered and did vote, it is pretty discouraging. But nothing worse than an American election I suppose. ihave heard numbers anywhere from 20-50% turnout which is what the US has depending on the election. I suppose this is better than nothing. ??? Until we see real numbers after a few days, it is too early to tell how it really went.

agreed. I heard 57% turnout but low in the Shiite population.

It’s a start.

Quote (clark_griswold @ Jan. 31 2005,09:20)
agreed. I heard 57% turnout but low in the Shiite population.

It's a start.

Definitely a good start in the right direction for the Iraqi people. I hope and pray that they find the freedom they deserve in all the turmoil over there.........

TG

Hey Clarke - you completely misunderstand me. I think the elections in Iraq turned out well (much better than I expected they would). However, just having an election doesn’t make a Democracy so I’ll reserve judgement on the whole process until I see the end of result.

But I still haven’t changed my position on the war. We invaded Iraq because it was supposedily a threat but it turns out it really wasn’t a threat. I don’t think we’re safer than we were before, and I think Al Quada will strike us again. So, there you have it - what else can I say?

Mr Soul

I’d say that all involved - especially the Irais who worked for this and voted - have a lot to crow about. And I’m more anti-Bush than TokerSoul - am I not, Mike? :)

And I'm more anti-Bush than TokerSoul - am I not, Mike?
It's hard to imagine someone more anti-Bush than me :laugh: The part I'm still dumb-founded is how did he do it? I mean he's misrepresented the truth about Iraq about every step of the way but he was able to 1) win in 2000, 2) start a war, and 3) win again. If this had been Clinton or some Democrat doing all this, he'd have been impeached 50 times over.

Seriously - my hat is off to Bush - I just don't know how he does it. And on top of that, he's going to dismantle Social Security, the progressive income tax & who's knows what else (possibly another war or at least covert operation in Iran).

Mr Soul
Quote (Mr Soul @ Jan. 31 2005,18:14)
[

Seriously - my hat is off to Bush - I just don't know how he does it.

that's all I need to hear.

“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 percent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. 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.”

- Peter Grose, in a page 2 New York Times article titled, ‘U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote,’ September 4, 1967.

kymarcus - that’s perfect!

Mr Soul

Quote (kymarcus @ Jan. 31 2005,21:10)
"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 percent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. 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."

- Peter Grose, in a page 2 New York Times article titled, 'U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote,' September 4, 1967.

Was that from Pitt's piece? It's worth a read:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/013105W.shtml

He notes two things of great importance:
(1) The election might be a source of false hope, given that even the first Bush's war was seen by many Muslims as an internal matter, a conflict within dar al-Salam, and the external aggression as a violation by the "world of unbelievers."


Here's the relevant quotation:
The powerful and influential Association of Muslim Scholars is not buying the idea that there was some great democratic breakthrough with this vote. AMS spokesman Muhammad al-Kubaysi responded to the election by saying, "The elections are not a solution to the Iraqi problem, because this problem is not an internal dispute to be resolved through accords and elections. It lies in the presence of a foreign power that occupies this country and refuses even the mere scheduling of the withdrawal of its forces from Iraq."

"We have consistently argued," continued al-Kubaysi, "that elections can only occur in a democracy that enjoys sovereignty. Our sovereignty is incomplete. Our sovereignty is usurped by foreign forces that have occupied our land and hurt our dignity. These elections... are a means of establishing the foreign forces in Iraq and keeping Iraq under the yoke of occupation. They should have been postponed."



Unless one has studied a bit about Islam, it is difficult to see how important this argument is. Islam makes a fundamental distinction between the abode of peace and the home of peace on one hand (the Islamic community - not a national entity!) on the one hand, and the house of war on the other (the non-Islamic world). The rules of engagement, so to speak, change when you cross the division.


(2) Behind all of the present administration's actions is PNAC, and even Mike here doesn't fully understand what that means (just ribbing you Mike, but most people don't really understand how power is being articulated in the present Bush administration - or by whom...).

Here is the relevant quotation:

Perhaps the most glaring indication that this "election" did little to settle the bloody reality in Iraq came three days before the ballots were cast. In a letter to congress dated January 28, the neoconservative think-tank/power broker known as The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) essentially called for a draft without actually using the 'D' word.

Project Censored, the organization that tracks important yet wildly under-reported stories, declared the existence, motivations and influence of PNAC to be the #1 censored media story for 2002-2003. Most t r u t h o u t readers are familiar with PNAC, but for those who missed this story, a quick refresher is required.

The first vital fact about PNAC has to do with its membership roll call: Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States, former CEO of Halliburton; Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense; Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Elliot Abrams, National Security Council; John Bolton, Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security; I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's top National Security assistant. This list goes on.

These people didn't enjoy those fancy titles in 2000, when the PNAC manifesto 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' was first published. Before 2000, these men were just a bunch of power players who got shoved out of government in 1993. In the time that passed between Clinton and those hanging chads, these people got together in PNAC and laid out a blueprint. 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' was the ultimate result. 2000 became 2001, and the PNAC boys suddenly had the fancy titles and a chance to swing some weight.

'Rebuilding America's Defenses' became the roadmap for foreign policy decisions made in the White House and the Pentagon; PNAC had the Vice President's office in one building, and the Defense Secretary's office in the other. Attacking Iraq was central to that roadmap from the beginning. When former Counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke accused the Bush administration of focusing on Iraq to the detriment of addressing legitimate threats, he was essentially denouncing them for using the attacks of September 11 as an excuse to execute the PNAC blueprint.

The goals codified in 'Rebuilding America's Defenses,' the manifesto, can be boiled down to a few sentences: The invasion and occupation of Iraq, for reasons that had nothing to do with Saddam Hussein. The building of several permanent military bases in Iraq, the purpose of which are to telegraph force throughout the region. The takeover by Western petroleum corporations of Iraq's nationalized oil industry. The ultimate destabilization and overthrow of a variety of regimes in the Middle East, friend and foe alike, by military or economic means, or both.

"Indeed," it is written on page 14 of 'Rebuilding America's Defenses,' "the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

In the last three years, PNAC has gotten every single thing it placed on its wish list back in 2000. This is why their letter to congress last week is so disturbing. The letter reads in part:

The United States military is too small for the responsibilities we are asking it to assume. Those responsibilities are real and important. They are not going away. The United States will not and should not become less engaged in the world in the years to come. But our national security, global peace and stability, and the defense and promotion of freedom in the post-9/11 world require a larger military force than we have today. The administration has unfortunately resisted increasing our ground forces to the size needed to meet today's (and tomorrow's) missions and challenges.
So we write to ask you and your colleagues in the legislative branch to take the steps necessary to increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps. While estimates vary about just how large an increase is required, and Congress will make its own determination as to size and structure, it is our judgment that we should aim for an increase in the active duty Army and Marine Corps, together, of at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution places the power and the duty to raise and support the military forces of the United States in the hands of the Congress. That is why we, the undersigned, a bipartisan group with diverse policy views, have come together to call upon you to act. You will be serving your country well if you insist on providing the military manpower we need to meet America's obligations, and to help ensure success in carrying out our foreign policy objectives in a dangerous, but also hopeful, world.

Brush aside the patriotic language, and you have the ideological architects of this disastrous Iraq invasion stating flatly that the American military is being bled dry, and that the ranks must be replenished before that military can be used to push into Iran, Syria and the other targeted nations. The 'D' word is not in this letter, but it screams out from between the lines. All the lip service paid to the Iraq elections by these people does not contrast well with their cry for more warm bodies to feed into the meat grinder.



What fools an ignorant citizenry can be. :)