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

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Those Iraqi elections may have been a victory after all

posted by Jazz at 2/02/2005 01:16:00 PM

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Juan Cole explains:
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim claimed victory in the Sunday elections for the United Iraqi Alliance, the coalition of religious Shiite parties he leads. And this is what the winners, if they are winners, think of the US:

' "No one welcomes the foreign troops in Iraq. We believe in the ability of Iraqis to run their own issues, including the security issue," Mr Hakim said. "Of course this issue could be brought up by the new government."
The idea that the revolutionary Shiite al-Dawa Party... would welcome a permanent US military presence in Iraq was always a chimera. Most Shiites who voted on Sunday thought they were voting for an end to US hegemony in their country. This is why it is so bizarre that the US Right is interpreting the elections as a victory for the Bush administration.
I think it's far too soon to get our hopes up. With US appointed puppets of the occupation running the election and (*gulp*) "counting the votes", I'm not hopeful of a sterling clean result. We've seen multiple reports of people turning in blank ballots thinking they had to do so to get their food rations next month. Other reports indicated a high level of illiteracy among the voters, with many of them not even knowing for sure what was being recorded on their ballots. We may still see the US backed ticket come up with a "surprise" win. (Will they claim that the exit polls were flawed in Iraq too?) And in any event, it's going to take a long time before those ballots are all counted, so declaring victory for anyone after three days seems a bit premature.

But if Cole is right, and he often is, this could lead to a rapid move by the Iraqis to send our asses home. Yes, I know that such a result would give Dubya the perfect out by laying the blame for whatever comes after on the new Iraq government, saying that we were only following their orders. But at this point, I no longer care. I want a solution that gets our troops out of the terrorist shooting gallery created by George W. Bush, and I no longer even care how that is accomplished.