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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

New Years With Riverbend

posted by Jazz at 1/04/2005 03:57:00 PM


Riverbend from Baghdad Burning has decided to share her experiences with New Year's Eve in Iraq and the upcoming elections. This is the gritty reality from the streets, regardless of the crowing from the neocon Bushies about how swell things are going.
We had our own fireworks as we began the New Year countdown. At around 10 minutes to 2005, the house shook with three colossal explosions not too far away. It came as something of a surprise at that particular moment and my cousin's two young daughters, after the initial fright, started giggling uncontrollably. E. clapped his hands and began to yell, "Yeah- FIREWORKS!! Goodbye 2004!!", which was followed by a sort of impromptu dance by the kids.
Well, at least they had fireworks. Riverbend goes on to talk about the elections at length. I'll paste in some salient portions here, but I strongly suggest you read the whole thing.

The elections are set for the 29th. It's an interesting situation. The different sects and factions just can't seem to agree. Sunni Arabs are going to boycott elections. It's not about religion or fatwas or any of that so much as the principle of holding elections while you are under occupation. People don't really sense that this is the first stepping stone to democracy as western media is implying. Many people sense that this is just the final act of a really bad play. It's the tying of the ribbon on the "democracy parcel" we've been handed. It's being stuck with an occupation government that has been labeled 'legitimate' through elections.

We're being bombarded with cute Iraqi commercials of happy Iraqi families preparing to vote. Signs and billboards remind us that the elections are getting closer...

Can you just imagine what our history books are going to look like 20 years from now?

"The first democratic elections were held in Iraq on January 29, 2005 under the ever-watchful collective eye of the occupation forces, headed by the United States of America. Troops in tanks watched as swarms of warm, fuzzy Iraqis headed for the ballot boxes to select one of the American-approved candidates..."

It won't look good.

There are several problems. The first is the fact that, technically, we don't know the candidates. We know the principal heads of the lists but we don't know who exactly will be running. It really is confusing. They aren't making the lists public because they are afraid the candidates will be assassinated.

Another problem is the selling of ballots. We're getting our ballots through the people who give out the food rations in the varying areas. The whole family is registered with this person(s) and the ages of the varying family members are known. Many, many, many people are not going to vote. Some of those people are selling their voting cards for up to $400. The word on the street is that these ballots are being bought by people coming in from Iran. They will purchase the ballots, make false IDs (which is ridiculously easy these days) and vote for SCIRI or Daawa candidates. Sunnis are receiving their ballots although they don't intend to vote, just so that they won't be sold.
Fun times in Iraq. Freedom is on the march!