Thursday, January 27, 2005

Vote With A Bullet

So we're going through with the Iraqi elections, even as the violence escalates. Actually, at this point, this is the best choice -- or rather, the least awful of the available choices our blunders have left us with.

As this press conference with an unidentified "senior State Dept. official" from earlier this month indicates, there's a lot of finger-crossing going on here, hoping that this goes through as planned.

But how can it? Most of the candidates are by necessity unidentified, so basically we're asking people to literally risk their lives to get out there and vote, without even knowing who they're voting for. And the election itself will be observed from Amman, Jordan. The election's not safe enough to observe, but it's safe enough to hold? I understand that there's not much in the way of alternatives, and that the show must go on, but still, how can you possibly get reliable, practical results like this?

Our last best hope apparently is either Iyad Allawi -- a thug who got his start blowing up cars and movie theaters (say, doesn't that make him one o' them thar terr-ists?), and lately had his tough-guy quals confirmed by admitting to personally executing six accused insurgents extrajudicially with a handgun -- or Ayatollah Al-Sistani, who is known for inveighing against pernicious evils like music and kite-flying. Keep in mind that Allawi and Sistani were Plan B, once Chalabi turned out to be exactly the kind of treacherous weasel people had been saying he was for years.

Yes sirree. That's the smell of freedom in the air.

So here's to having hope that it will work out sooner rather than later, but unfortunately knowing better. It will take a lot of death squads and torture chambers to keep a lid on this kettle, as Saddam knew all too well. We're a part of that, whether or not we actively take a role in it. It will happen, if it isn't already.


vonKreedon said...

Cart - You have cites for your items about Allawi's terraist and Sistani's Taliban quals? I had not heard those before.

Heywood J. said...

vK: I've seen them in several places, most notably the Guardian. I'll dig up some articles for you to check out later tonight.

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