1.27.2005

not trying to nitpick


but this kind of thing really gets on my nerves. Again yesterday, president bush spoke of what a great thing elections in Iraq are. I won't argue with that, I don't think the elections will change anything but it's still a good thing. Eh, hopefully. But what bugs me is when people repeat over and over that holding elections is a first for Iraq.

Yesterday bush said of the elections:
If we'd been having this discussion a couple of years ago and I'd have stood up in front of you and said the Iraqi people would be voting, you would look at me like some of you still look at me, with a kind of blank expression.
The poor man doesn't even realize that people look at him with a blank stare for the simple fact that he rarely makes any sense but I'd hate to be the one to tell him. What bugs me is the way he and others often tend say that the upcoming election of National Assembly members is going to be a first. This time he even goes so far as to say that the very idea of Iraqis voting would have been ridiculous a couple of years ago.

Ok, maybe he means that we had screwed Iraq up so bad by invading a couple of years ago that no one believed they would have gotten their election process going again by now, but we all know he doesn't mean that. What he is saying over and over again is that, until now, the very idea of Iraqis ever being able to hold elections was just plain crazy until we made it possible.

But, as I've pointed out before, Iraq had been holding National Assembly elections every four years since 1980. The last time was in 2000 and they would have held another last year if we hadn't invaded the country and screwed everything up.

These elections weren't perfect by any means. As I've mentioned, candidates were required to swear loyalty to the Baathist party in front of a panel of officials before they could be considered for the ballot. But the fact remains that Iraqis are no strangers to the voting process. They just didn't have a lot of choice who to vote for. These new elections that are taking place in three days are almost as screwy since most of the candidates haven't even released their name, but that's a whole 'nother topic altogether.

I just can't help but think it's sort of insulting to say that Iraqis didn't know how to vote until we showed them. I could understand if bush said that this will be the first time that Iraqis are going to be free to vote for whoever they want, or that this is the first time that the elections are not going to be corrupt, but he never does. He just keeps repeating that Iraqis are going to be able to vote for the first time in history.

Things like this really get on my nerves. Say it once and maybe it's a mistake. Repeat it over and over again and you're either a fool or a liar.



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