Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The best laid plans, oft get laid

Well, thank God we had that historic vote in Iraq. Don’t you all feel better? Safer? My gosh, even my sinuses feel clearer. I mean, this is the vote that’s going to bring peace and democracy to Iraq. The same vote that’s now under suspicion because an unheard of 99% voted for the referendum on their reconstituted constitution. Wow, 99%! Now that’s a mandate, right? Wrong. Because you see, we never get the whole story. We continue to get the spin. Even Bill O’Reilly - King of Spin himself - was chiding Codoleeza Rice on his show the other night, when she said it was better in Iraq. He said,
“How can it be better? Fox reporters over there have to stay in the Green Zone. They can’t even venture out to get a cup of coffee.”

I’m attaching two interesting sources I’d like you to check out. One is the Riverbend blog, written by an Iraqi women who struggles every day with the horror over there. It is a real eye-opener. You want to know what is really going - the power outrages, the lack of water, the kidnappings, the on-going brutality – visit this link. Here’s a sample of a recent entry:
The referendum is only hours away and the final version of the constitution still hasn’t reached many people. Areas with a Sunni majority are complaining that there aren’t polling stations for kilometers around- many of these people don’t have cars and even if they did, what good would it do while there’s a curfew until Sunday? Polling stations should be easily accessible in every area.

(Hmmm, curfews, not enough polling stations…and they still got a 99% turnout?)
This is like déjà vu from January when people in Mosul and other Sunni areas complained that they didn’t have centers to vote in or that their ballot boxes never made it to the counting stations. Link
American media is trying to make it sound like Sunnis have suddenly been mollified with the changes made in a flurry of covert meetings these last few days, but the reality is that the only Sunni party openly supporting the constitution is the Iraqi Ilamic Party which represents a very, very small percentage of Sunnis.

The Guardian Unlimited in London also has an article about how swell it is over in Iraq. Makes me just want to take my frequent flyer miles and go there for a little visit.
Last week I returned to Iraq for the first time since the end of 2003. If the essence of "getting better" is security then things are incomparably worse. I could no longer walk the streets or visit friends. Anyone associating with foreigners risks execution. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, academics are fleeing abroad for fear of kidnap. The National Museum has closed. Visiting VIPs must go everywhere by helicopter. The Iraqi head of Baghdad's military academy must change into civilian clothes before leaving his base. After nearly three years of American rule, Baghdad is simply the most terrifying city in the world.
…Bringing democracy to Iraq? We claim to have done that already. Bringing peace and security to the country? You must be joking. Rebuilding the Iraqi army? Of 113 paid-up battalions, the Americans regard just one as reliable in a firefight, and that after two years of recruitment and training. The fact is you can train an army but not motivate it. That it must do for itself.

To read the whole article visit this link:

It’s astonishing, really. Our country and our lives are in the hands of the most shameful, dishonest, incompetent, administration ever. They are madmen. Everyday there is a new revelation. It’s like watching a car wreck in slow motion. You think the Iraq war is bad. You think Katrina was a disaster. You better pray we don’t have to watch what happens if the bird flu ever gets here…

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