Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Rick Romero: Who is being wagged?

Ed.: Rick Romero is an activist from Phoenix who is joining the BlogForArizona team. He's having a few technical difficulties, and asked me to post his first entry for him. He'll introduce himself more fully once he's up an running.

Election officials in Baghdad have estimated that the nationwide turnout for the Iraqi election could exceed 60 percent. Success? President Bush declared the Iraqi election to be a triumphant moment in his effort to spur democracy throughout the Middle East. Did he say this with a wink and wag his tail?

Last week, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and John Negroponte, the United States Ambassador to Iraq. Kucinich cites a total absence of international election monitors in Iraq for Sunday's elections. The closest international monitors will get to Iraq on Sunday will be Amman, Jordan.

In his letter, Kucinich states,

"It is clear, in just five days before the Iraqi elections are to be held, that it will be impossible to conclude anything about the extent to which corruption, voter intimidation or outright fraud will mar the results. The exercise will regrettably be a farce..."

"According to the Washington Post, this is the first transitional election in the past two decades that will not have international election observers touring polling stations. International monitors have independently observed and evaluated elections throughout the world and have helped to point out when they are fraudulent and when they are legitimate."

Was Kucinich on track with his suspicions? Is the media accurately reporting what is really happening in the Iraqi election? A friend of mine is in contact with an American independent contractor who is working in a security team in Baghdad. Today he wrote to her that he is very optimistic about the elections. He briefly stated that it has been going well, and not as bad as expected. What do you think? Was the independent contractor being truthful? Is it possible that things actually went well in Iraq?

All of this makes me recall the movie, "Wag The Dog." Regarding the Iraqi elections: I'm wondering if the tail is waging the dog, or if the dog is doing the work. Has the Iraqi election been a farce? And now - - are we the ones being wagged?


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