Saturday, January 29, 2005

fighting for democracy

the iraq elections are here. polling places are bunkered, safe and ready...

the washington post has reported that there is 1, that's right, ONE accredited international election observer in iraq right now, and that due to security reasons, he's stuck inside some barracks somewhere.

i've been hearing rumblings over the radio here and there about the effects of trying to impose democracy on other peoples... seems like there may be whole ethnic groups boycotting the elections in iraq this weekend. though they all say they want to take part in writing a constitution, something that hopefully bridges the divides between the so many groups that live within, or spill over and into, the borders of Iraq.

how do we correctly legitimize ethnic minorities that were persecuted under Saddam, like the Kurds, while at the same time not drown out the voices of others that should be at the table, as well?

and what kind of legitimacy is gained by delivering an election during an occupation and massive resistance. it brings echoes of the elections in afghanistan. those areas safe enough to hold elections will get to control the government. and will they be open to a just process of building a real democracy in Iraq? or are we talking bout something that looks more like our system, where a mandate comes with ooh, 51% of the vote, with less than a majority turnout to the polls, with (s)elected officials gerrymandering their districts, appointing their friends to elections board positions, etc etc.

so, what the hell are our (i mean, the royal "our," of course, ie. King George, Regent Cheney) interests in all this? everyone knows, well, everyone should know, that Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai is deeply connected in the international finance deals of the Bush dynasty, through the Carlyle group (see Fahrenheit 911 and elsewhere).

results coming in show turnout in iraq extremely high... feeling a little deja vu coming on??

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

by Peter Grose, Special to The New York Times September 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 percent 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.

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