Monday, January 31, 2005


I tuned into Fox news last night, and they were going on and on about how wonderfully the election in Iraq came off, spouting off about the huge voter turn-out, interviewing English-speaking Iraqis and getting them to say what a defeat this was for the "terrorists." Considering the source, I just said, "Yeah, right! Pbbbbbbblllllllllp! (attempting to spell raspberries)" and changed the channel.

Today, every newscast I have heard, even on NPR, which is a little less affected by the conservative media disease than most, reported that the elections in Iraq went well. Good news coming out of Iraq is scarce; the entire world was impressed by the bravery and determination of a larger-than-expected portion of the Iraqi electorate.

It’s impossible to concede that the American attack on Iraq was anything but an ill-considered military action that was part of a Bush machine agenda plotted long before G. W. Bush entered the White House to begin his first term. The action will always be a travesty of mammoth proportions, which brought our standing among the nations of the world to a possible all-time low. And demonstrated to the rest of the world that when the American people have been attacked, they expect their leaders to exact revenge from someone…little matter that the target of our bloodlust has no connection to the people who attacked us. This war has NOT been and never will be a shining moment in American history.

But, half-way across the world, in a country torn by violence and instability brought upon them by an outside force, millions of ordinary citizens literally took their lives in their hands and participated in what they celebrated as a free election. The first free election held in Iraq in their memory. A baby step toward advancing their country to its rightful place among the nations of the world.

Did I say ordinary citizens? No, on second thought…they are anything but ordinary. These men and women are courageous, strong, and determined. True patriots. I wonder…would I have been brave enough to journey to a polling place under the shadow of a death threat? Hats off to the Iraqi people! They may yet turn this unholy mess into a shining moment in their own history. In spite of all our efforts to "help" them.


  1. They certainly are brave people.  I really hope this leads to democracy.  I have a hard time equating what happened yesterday with democracy: blindly voting for political parties with no idea who the people will be to take power.  But I have hope.


  2. My favourite spelling for the raspberry sound comes from the Bloom County comics: THPPFT!

  3. your entry make me think of the situation in a way that I had not previously. I have been sotraumatized by my lack of representation in our cuntry,that I had not stopped to think of the gallantry of those poor people. Thanks

  4. Let me see now,  if FOX news reports it, it's not real or credible; but if NPR reports it, (the same thing) then it must be the gospel.  hmmmmmm.  Perhaps FOX used english-speaking Iraqis because they were televising to a primarily english-speaking audience and it airs better.  However, I also saw them interview some nonenglish-speaking Iraqis thru an interpreter and they said pretty much the same thing.  Sounds like you just don't like the messenger.

    Isn't it ironic that this election turned out a larger percentage of eligible voters under these adverse conditions than our country could under optimum voting conditions.  Those people wanted this very badly.

  5. I like NPR and I do not watch TV not unless I have a DVD movie running. I am tired of media sensationalism and I am voting with my remote control.

  6. The thing that amazes me is that despite the threats of violence and intimidation, 60% of eligible voters in Iraq turned out.  That's about equal to (or maybe even higher than) we have here in the U.S., I think!

  7. It's a first baby step. A building block or two. I'm waiting to see if the factions will actually share power. Heck, we're still trying to build democracy here at home. Maybe we need signs at the borders. UNDER CONSTRUCTION-anticipated completion date. "?"

  8. Fly Boy reported that he was just amazed at the turnout, and he said that those who were out to vote, were so happy and friendly to much so that he said it was like their "Independence Day"  And, he said Bahlad was mortared 17 times, yet they kept on coming out to vote.  Tough people, I'd say.  I hope things continue to get better for them so my son and all the rest of our countrymen and women call let them run their own nation and we can get back to the business of fixin' ours.   Lisa

  9. Here's an interesting piece of history which might put the current vote in better 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) 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 hope here is that the new government will be able to maneuver with a confidence and legitimacy long lacking in South Vietnamese politics. That hope could have been dashed either by a small turnout, indicating widespread scorn or a lack of interest in constitutional development, or by the Vietcong's disruption of the balloting." [Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --George Santayana]

    emailed to me today---dave