[News] What They're Not Telling You About the "Election"
News at freedomarchives.org
News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 2 11:49:53 EST 2005
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** http://dahrjamailiraq.com **
February 01, 2005
What Theyre Not Telling You About the Election
The day of blood and elections has passed, and the blaring trumpets of
corporate media hailing it as a successful show of democracy have
subsided to a dull roar.
After a day which left 50 people dead in Iraq, both civilians and soldiers,
the death toll was hailed as a figure that was lower than expected.
acceptable, by Bush Administration/corporate media standards. After
all, only of them was an American, the rest were Iraqis civilians and
The gamble of using the polling day in Iraq to justify the ongoing failed
occupation of Iraq has apparently paid off, if you watch only mainstream media.
Higher than expected turnout, US mainstream television media blared, some
citing a figure of 72%, others 60%.
What they didnt tell you was that this figure was provided by Farid Ayar,
the spokesman for the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq (IECI)
before the polls had even closed.
When asked about the accuracy of the estimate of voter turnout during a
press conference, Ayar backtracked on his earlier figure, saying that a
closer estimate was lower than his initial estimate and would be more like
60% of registered voters.
The IECI spokesman said his previous figure of 72% was only guessing and
was just an estimate, which was based on very rough, word-of mouth
estimates gathered informally from the field. It will take some time for
the IECI to issue accurate figures on turnout.
Referencing both figures, Ayar then added, Percentages and numbers come
only after counting and will be announced when it's over ... It's too soon
to say that those were the official numbers.
But this isnt the most important misrepresentation the mainstream media
What they also didnt tell you was that of those who voted, whether they be
35% or even 60% of registered voters, were not voting in support of an
ongoing US occupation of their country.
In fact, they were voting for precisely the opposite reason. Every Iraqi I
have spoken with who voted explained that they believe the National
Assembly which will be formed soon will signal an end to the occupation.
And they expect the call for a withdrawing of foreign forces in their
country to come sooner rather than later.
This causes one to view the footage of cheering, jubilant Iraqis in a
different light now, doesnt it?
But then, most folks in the US watching CNN, FOX, or any of the major
networks wont see it that way. Instead, they will hear what Mr. Bush said,
The world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle
East, and take it as fact because most of the major media outlets arent
scratching beneath film clips of joyous Iraqi voters over here in the land
of daily chaos and violence, no jobs, no electricity, little running water
and no gasoline (for the Iraqis anyhow).
And Bush is portrayed by the media as the bringer of democracy to Iraq by
the simple fact that this so-called election took place, botched as it may
have been. Appearances suggest that the majority Shia in Iraq now finally
get their proportional representation in a government. Looks good on paper.
But as you continue reading, the seemingly altruistic reasons for this
election as portrayed by the Bush Administration and trumpeted by most
mainstream media are anything but.
And Iraqis who voted are hearing other trumpets that are blaring an end to
Now the question remains, what happens when the National Assembly is formed
and over 100,000 US soldiers remain on the ground in Iraq with the Bush
Administration continuing in its refusal to provide a timetable for their
What happens when Iraqis see that while there are already four permanent US
military bases in their country, rather than beginning to disassemble them,
more bases are being constructed, as they are, by Cheneys old company
Halliburton, right now?
Antonia Juhasz, a Foreign Policy in Focus scholar, authored a piece just
before the election that sheds light on a topic that has lost attention
amidst the recent fanfare concerning the polls in Iraq.
I think its worth including much of her story here, as it fits well with
todays topic of things most folks arent being told by the bringers of
democracy to the heart of the Middle East.
On Dec. 22, 2004, Iraqi Finance Minister Abdel Mahdi told a handful of
reporters and industry insiders at the National Press Club in Washington,
D.C. that Iraq wants to issue a new oil law that would open Iraq's national
oil company to private foreign investment. As Mahdi explained: "So I think
this is very promising to the American investors and to American
enterprise, certainly to oil companies."
In other words, Mahdi is proposing to privatize Iraq's oil and put it into
American corporate hands.
According to the finance minister, foreigners would gain access both to
"downstream" and "maybe even upstream" oil investment. This means
foreigners can sell Iraqi oil and own it under the ground the very thing
for which many argue the U.S. went to war in the first place.
As Vice President Dick Cheney's Defense Policy Guidance report explained
back in 1992, "Our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside
power in the [Middle East] region and preserve U.S. and Western access to
the region's oil."
While few in the American media other than Emad Mckay of Inter Press
Service reported on or even attended Mahdis press conference, the
announcement was made with U.S. Undersecretary of State Alan Larson at
Mahdi's side. It was intended to send a message but to whom?
It turns out that Abdel Mahdi is running in the Jan. 30 elections on the
ticket of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (SCIR), the
leading Shiite political party. While announcing the selling-off of the
resource which provides 95 percent of all Iraqi revenue may not garner
Mahdi many Iraqi votes, but it will unquestionably win him tremendous
support from the U.S. government and U.S. corporations.
Mahdi's SCIR is far and away the front-runner in the upcoming elections,
particularly as it becomes increasingly less possible for Sunnis to vote
because the regions where they live are spiraling into deadly chaos. If
Bush were to suggest to Iraqs Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi that
elections should be called off, Mahdi and the SCIR's ultimate chances of
victory will likely decline.
Ill add that the list of political parties Mahdis SCIR belongs to, The
United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), includes the Iraqi National Council, which is
led by an old friend of the Bush Administration who provided the faulty
information they needed to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq, none other
than Ahmed Chalabi.
It should also be noted that interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi also fed
the Bush Administration cooked information used to justify the invasion,
but he heads a different Shia list which will most likely be getting nearly
as many votes as the UIA list.
And The UIA has the blessing of Iranian born revered Shiite cleric, Grand
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Sistani issued a fatwa which instructed his huge
number of followers to vote in the election, or they would risk going to hell.
Thus, one might argue that the Bush administration has made a deal with the
SCIR: Iraq's oil for guaranteed political power. The Americans are able to
put forward such a bargain because Bush still holds the strings in Iraq.
Regardless of what happens in the elections, for at least the next year
during which the newly elected National Assembly writes a constitution and
Iraqis vote for a new government, the Bush administration is going to
control the largest pot of money available in Iraq (the $24 billion in U.S.
taxpayer money allocated for the reconstruction), the largest military and
the rules governing Iraq's economy. Both the money and the rules will, in
turn, be overseen by U.S.-appointed auditors and inspector generals who sit
in every Iraqi ministry with five-year terms and sweeping authority over
contracts and regulations. However, the one thing which the administration
has not been unable to confer upon itself is guaranteed access to Iraqi oil
that is, until now.
And there is so much more they are not telling you. Just like the Iraqis
who voted, believing they did so to bring an end to the occupation of their
Posted by Dahr_Jamail at February 1, 2005 04:15 PM
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the News