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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

 

Iraqis Vote Florida Style
By Dr. Edward W. Miller

"Political democracy ╔ with all its threatening evils, supplies a training school for making first-class men. It is life's gymnasium."
Walt Whitman 1819-1892
On March 20th, tens of thousands around the world marched to protest
Washington's continuing occupation in Iraq. In Chicago hundreds of extra police were called out to manage the crowds and even in Tasmania protesters filled the streets of their capital.
Americans have noted that over the past two years the rational for the invasion of
Iraq has been altered more than once. Bush, repeating the lies of his neocon pals Leith, Perle, Wolfowitz, and Carl Rove, first warned that Saddam was an "imminent threat" not only to his neighbors, but even to the continental United States, some 6000 miles from Baghdad.
When few in the intelligent world and one of Iraq's immediate neighbors bought into this story and after millions across the planet rallied in the streets to protest the proposed US pre-emptive strike, Bush suddenly discovered that Saddam was in possession of WMD, weapons that our teddy-bear Blair warned might be readied for use "in as little as 45 minutes." Then, after the US-British invasion of
Iraq, and after intensive search produced no WMD, Bush revealed that his real purpose behind OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM had always been "to bring democracy to the Iraqis and, eventually to all the Mideast..."
Today, almost two years since Bush in his infamous "Abraham Lincoln Aircraft Carrier speech" ( May 1st 2003) announced the Iraqi campaign "successfully completed," Saddam's people see little evidence of either a western style democracy or the promised improvements in their physical condition. Though our western media lauded the bravery of those Iraqis who risked their lives to vote in the January 30th elections, a closer look presents a far different picture.
As staff member of the INDEPENDENT, A.K. Gupta, reported: (Z- Magazine, March 2005), "Elections were held in a country locked down under an iron-fisted occupation with few Iraqis having any idea of who or what they were voting for. Almost half of those surveyed thought they were voting for a president rather than a national assembly and provisional legislatures ╔ except for the Kurds, most Iraqi voters saw their ballot as a vote against the US occupation, adding there was growing evidence that many Iraqis "may have been coerced to the polls by threats to cut off their food allowances╔ Iraqi officials ╔declared the election motto: "vote or starve."
Gupta noted that Kurds, 90% of whom are Sunni, turned out "in droves," and the 60% Shiite population as well, but that a large number of Shiites plus Sunnis did not vote ...adding that Washington's choice, "Allawi, didn't, seem to be hurt by his underlings handing out $100 dollar bills to Iraqi journalists attending his press conferences." The New York Times reported that all four candidates competing for prime minister were Iraqi exiles.
But there was more to the election than coercion by overt threats of starvation. As Scott Ritter, former Iraqi weapons inspector, and presently columnist for Al Jazeera reported (Newsmax.com 9 March 2005) "January's historic election╔ was fixed ╔as the election results were changed using a "secret recount" held three days after the vote." Ritter explained that with Shiites getting 60% of the vote, their party would control the National Assembly without having to form a coalition. Accordingly, "suddenly there's a government-ordered lockdown of the votes, while there is a secret recount-not a public recount-where American troops were escorting ballot boxes into undisclosed locations to be recounted by (interim Prime Minister) Alllawi's government."
Ritter noted: "The secret recount dramatically changed the political landscape, with the Shia vote dropping to 48% and Allawi's government picking up nearly 10 points of support."
"You don't want to cook it so that no one will believe it ╔You cook it so that the Shia cannot have a majority in the National Assembly, so that there will not be a democratically-elected theocracy."
Iyad Allawi, Iraq's prime minister, a Shiite, whose position in the new Iraqi government is uncertain, has been generally recognized by the Iraqi people as a puppet for both the US and Britain. Columnist Fred Lingel in his article ( American Free Press
5 July, 2004) points out that this 59 year old physician (neurologist) "is credited, like his disgraced relative, Ahmed Chalabu, with providing the United States with bogus information about weapons of mass destruction.
Lingel points out: "Allawi was not the UN's preferred choice," but that Iraq's UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, "had to accept him after the US-appointed Governing Council came under pressure from Ambassador Robert Blackwell, Condoleezza Rice's man in Baghdad, and CPA leader, Paul Bremer."
In 1971 Allawi went to
London to complete his medical studies, and was accused by some of "spying for the Iraqi secret police." He broke with the Baath Party for reasons unknown and assassins were sent to London to kill him. "He was beaten with knives and axes and spent a year in the hospital recuperating." "Allawi set up his own dissident organization, The Iraqi National Accord, and built close ties with the British Foreign Intelligence Service, M16. In 1992 Allawi transferred his allegiance to the CIA and got funding from them╔ As a member of Iraq's Governing Council Allawi had the task of building a new secret police force."
Thus Bush who preaches "democracy" has been employing the same crooked tactics in
Iraq that gave our President a majority in the Florida election.

 

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