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Author Topic: The Iraqi elections
Storm Saxon
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I didn't see that a thread had been made about this, and I just want to say that footage of today's voting brought a tear to my eye. All those smiling Iraqis waving their purpler fingers with such huge smiles on theif faces was just an awesome, awesome, awesome sight. People were bringing kids too young to vote in, just so they could dip their fingers, to show that they were there during the birth of their nation. [Smile]

I fervently wish the Iraqis the best in their future. I wish them all the peace and prosperity in the world.

Also, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotches of those !@$@$#$%^! 'insurgents'. [Mad]

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Lyrhawn
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You see what Jon Stewart said about it tonught on the Daily Show? It was something to the effect of:

"today the Iraqi people went to the polls to vote for the first time. Wait, well it wasn't the first, it was more like the sixth, but hell, every election is like the first time.

Have you noticed that the only time there isn't violence in Iraq is when they're voting? Which means I've discovered the secret to security in Iraq: Constant elections. That's right! 365 days a year."

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Morbo
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I also liked the videos of the Iraqis waving purple fingers around.

I was surprised at how little violence there was. Maybe the insurgency/terrorist movement will die off.

The strong Sunni participation is a good sign, although many of them used "ending the occupation" as a rallying cry.

The next test will be what kind of coalition government arises in the National Assembly. Apparently the Shi'ia won't be strong enough to dominate it as they have in the earlier gov't, and will have to have coalition partners.

It's almost enough to make me think the whole war was worth the gamble and sacrifice. Maybe. Too early to tell.

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dantesparadigm
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There is so much hope for that region; I don't care what the far left thinks. The only enemies are a handful of Muslim fanatics and that group of liberal douches who'd rather see the whole region go up in flames to hurt the Bush administration than a free sovereign Middle Eastern nation.

Whether or not the far left wants a free Iraq, the Iraqi people do, and it would be asinine to leave before they're capable of supporting a democratic government. If we were to leave, and their nation crumbled, that would constitute one of the worst crimes in history. However that's what some democrats want us to do; up and leave, let their government crumble and their country be a center of terrorism and death, they want to condemn 25 million people to certain oppression in order to save a few hundred hypothetical lives.

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Synesthesia
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*rolls eyes*
But haven't the Iraqis gotten to the point when THEY, not just the "far left" want America to leave?
But I congradulate them because voting is a beautiful thing.

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dantesparadigm
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I don't think a majority of Iraqi's want us out, and considering the ethnic makeup of Iraq I don't think it would be out of the question to redeploy our troops around the country; letting the Iraqi security forces take over calm areas of the country while we concentrate on obliterating the remaining terrorist. I'm sure the military is perfectly capable of staying out of sight in areas we're not wanted while still ensuring security in the region.
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Bean Counter
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Like the Squeekng Wheels back home, the few Iraqi's who are making the same cry that the liberals in the news took up are getting the most play on the major networks.

The fact is that the Iraqi's fear their Security Forces and Military much more then they fear ours. They want us to stay here long enough to set the precedents of polite interaction and due process. They literally hug us and ask us to please not go yet.

I have seen it, I am reporting it to you, I am here, others can verify that I speak sooth, yet some of you still believe the liberal news outlets. What does that say for you? Someone as recently as two days ago called our attempts to bring Democracy here a dismal failure on this list. It is shameful how easily some are manipulated away from the facts. It is almost as shameful as those with the agenda doing the manipulation.

Turns out the X-files right wing conspiricy was really a left wing socialist agenda. Who knew? Bravo Iraq, I am glad to be here to see it!

BC

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Morbo
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Dantesparadigm, that turns out not to be the case:
http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1408504.php
quote:
December 12, 2005
Most Iraqis want U.S. forces out
By Will Lester Associated Press
Most Iraqis disapprove of the presence of U.S. forces in their country, yet they are optimistic about Iraq’s future and their own personal lives, according to a new poll.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed oppose the presence of troops from the United States and its coalition partners and less than half, 44 percent, say their country is better off now than it was before the war, according to an ABC News poll conducted with Time magazine and other media partners.

More details at link

Other 2005 polls that show a majority of Iraqis want the US to leave:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-04-28-poll-cover_x.htm

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5217874/site/newsweek/

The polls show most Iraqis distrust BOTH coalition forces and their own police and military.

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dantesparadigm
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I had no idea that's what the poll numbers looked like. I'm surprised. Still, I think we need to maintain or presence there for at least a while longer. Then once we leave in a year or two we should still have a small force there or in adjacent countries to respond to any imminent threats to the new Iraqi government. The consequences of this war failing are much greater than anything that can happen if we stay.
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TheHumanTarget
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quote:
liberal douches who'd rather see the whole region go up in flames to hurt the Bush administration than a free sovereign Middle Eastern nation.

Quick...we don't have a real argument. Throw the liberal card at them...Liberals!!!! Dirty, dirty liberals!!!!!

Seeking to minimize your opponents to one-word catchphrases does nothing to progress a true debate. Especially when the catchphrase being used has been so perverted by Republicans that it completely misrepresents the actual meaning of the word.

Look it up:
liberal

Tell me why anything in this definition should be viewed as a negative trait to have or something to be ashamed about.

Anyways...
Without going into the endless debate of 'should we' or 'shouldn't we' be there, it's ignorant to think that liberals would have anything to gain if our occupation of Iraq fails. The chaos and instability that would be caused by an immediate massive withdrawal would color most of the first-term of our next President (who could very well be one of these liberals that you so deride).

Do you think that they really want to spend their first term trying to fix this? Would they actually gain enough political capital to off-set the highjacking of their own agenda?

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WntrMute
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What the Time poll and the others fail to show is that while the majority of Iraqis want America out eventually, they don't want it to happen right now. On NPR (a bastion of über-conservatism, I know) featured an interview with a reporter who talked to sunni's who were voting for the first time. He said the consensus even there was what the US needs to stay until the security is better. The sunni's are looking at the Interior Ministry with a very wary eye. The reporter said that when he told one sunni that he was basically repeating Bush's plan for withdrawal, the sunni guy laughed and said that was ok by him, then. There's also an Oxford poll that supports this on the net somewhere, but I've got to get to work.
Also, modern liberals aren't liberal anymore (in the US, at least), they are much closer to socialists in outlook and philosophy.

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ElJay
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I don't care what the liberals think I think the Iraqis want us there so we should stay. Oh, the Iraqis don't want us there? Well, we should stay anyway.

Are you listening to yourself?

I agree that an immediate pullout would not be in anyone's best interests, and I'm one of those liberals you were just maligning. But we're going through a lot of work here to set up fair and democratic elections. That's wonderful. And if the elected government tells us they'd like us to leave -- which most reports I've read think is very likely going to happen no matter who is elected -- what kind of message does it send if we proceed to stick around for "a year or two' and then still leave a force there? That we're imperialists setting up a puppet government, just like people have been accusing us.

I sincerely hope that this election is a turning point. That the insurgents have "got it" that the best way to get us out is to stop attacking people working with us, let the Iraqi Army get up to speed and slowly take over for us as we slowly withdraw. And while I think we need to have troops available to help out the fledgling government at their request for many years, it really needs to be at their request, not us rushing in whenever we think they need it. That's the only way we can help this become a real government and a stable country.

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ElJay
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WntrMute, the rest of the world laughs at us because what we call Liberal is more conservative than their moderate parties. Other countries have Socialist parties running in elections, and then their liberal party is to the right of that, and our liberals are to the right of that still. Most liberals in the US are no where near socialist.
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Storm Saxon
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*grumble*
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Rakeesh
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I think such polls depend greatly on when the question is asked. I think that yesterday I was listening to NPR and they were talking about Fallujah, where they said that a strong majority of people wanted the USA out...but out now, that's when disagreements started.
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WntrMute
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quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
WntrMute, the rest of the world laughs at us because what we call Liberal is more conservative than their moderate parties. Other countries have Socialist parties running in elections, and then their liberal party is to the right of that, and our liberals are to the right of that still. Most liberals in the US are no where near socialist.

That's because most of the world is Socialist. Liberal IS conservative. The FDP in Germany is a traditional 'Liberal' party, and actually fairly conservative. Some (but not all) Libertarians are the closest to the classical liberal position.
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MrSquicky
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Storm,
I'm happy about this and holding my breath in hopes that it really does turn out well too.

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Storm Saxon
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Thank you, Squicky edit: and Morbo.

[ December 16, 2005, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: Storm Saxon ]

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BaoQingTian
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Morbo,

Upon starting to read this poll, I wondered why I should accept their biases any more than Bean Counter's. It appears to me that BC is biased, seeing and selectively hearing only the good about the situation there (or maybe he's just an optimist, looking on the bright side of things). On the other hand, it is just as apparent to me by the wording and choice of questions (e.g. Are the troops "liberators" or "occupiers" as the only choice, asked two years after the initial invasion) that the poll was less concerned about being scientifically accurate and honest than it was about making their point.

Also, for example near the end of the poll I found this:
quote:

That negative opinion of the behavior of the troops rarely is based on direct contact. Iraq is a country the size of California with a population of 25 million. Many areas are sparsely patrolled. Only 7% in the poll say they based their opinions on personal experience.

Instead, Iraqis get their information from others. For about a third, it's pan-Arabic television such as the Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya satellite news channels. The networks frequently show scenes of U.S. forces shooting into Iraqi neighborhoods in hot spots such as Fallujah, an anti-American stronghold in the center of the country.

Hmmm...93% of the people don't have ANY contact with the troops, get their news from Al-Jazeera, and we wonder why there is a negative opinion? Yeesh.
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Pelegius
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The elections are unlikely to bring anybody of any worth into high office. Well, maybe a few Kurdish leaders, but mostly fanatics who favour Iran and/or other terrorists. Although not a Communist by any means, I am inclined to think that the Iraqi Union of the People is the best hope for secular democracy. Wouldn't mind the Royalists either.
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Storm Saxon
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It's going to be interesting to see how the secular Kurds fit into an Islamic society.
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Will B
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What Wintermute says. Everybody who has an opinion -- Iraqis, US liberals, US conservatives, Bush, al-Qaeda, other Arabs -- everybody wants the US out. At some point.

Some want us out right now, with Iraqi democracy left to stand alone before its forces are trained to handle it.

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JTruant711
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I'm with Rakeesh. It all depends on where the poll was taken. I think that personal contact with Iraqis on a regular basis gives you a much better sense of what they feel about us.

I'd say, from experience that about 60-70 percent of Iraqis are pro-American. If you poll the children, then numbers would be more like 90-95 percent. It all depends on where you are and who you talk to. I don't trust an AP reporter who is probably defecating himself in Iraq, or an Oxford study.

I don't trust the polls for elections and issues in the U.S., why would they be any different in Iraq?

I hate America's obsession with polls about as much as I hated America's obsession with reality T.V.....

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Rakeesh
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Personally I don't know what is the truth about what individual Iraqis feel in groups or by themselves. The truth of such polls seems to change dramatically, and obviously it will based just on the headlines of yesterday's newspaper.
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JTruant711
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I wouldn't even mention Classic Liberalism, because I would consider myself a classic liberal, but that basically means that I am a conservative by today's standards.

Don't worry so much about your terminology... they change the dictionary every year.

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JTruant711
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Kudos, Rakeesh.
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Chris Bridges
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I'm certain I would be considered a liberal. I thought the Iraq war was the wrong move at the wrong time (although I didn't have much problem with the Afghanistan war) and that this administration squandered a great deal of world-wide support and tarnished our reputation by going ahead with it in the bullheaded way that they did.

But, now that we're there, I do not believe we should pull out. We created the situation, it is our responsibility to see it through.

BUT that doesn't mean I think we should continue to go about it the way the administration insists it must be done. There are several plans floating around Washington on how to redeploy the troops, how to help Iraquis take more control of their own lives, and how to encourage their economy. I think Rumsfeld should be removed from any planning or control of the situation and someone who can imagine more than one plan at a time should take over.

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Morbo
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Well said, Chris. I agree with everything you said, a rarity for me on Hatrack.
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Dagonee
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The Iraqi polls should not be considered at all in deciding to pull out.

On the other hand, a formal request by their government to leave must be honored, whether we think it wise or not. And a near vote in favor of us staying should make us consider leaving sooner than the Iraqi government wishes us to.

And that is why I think today is an awesome day. Because there is finally a government in place capable of asking us to stay or leave with a LOT of credibility.

It's not just their credibility on asking us to leave that pleases me - it's the idea that a government with a fair claim to legitimacy exists.

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Chris Bridges
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Morbo - it had to happen sometime, if only as part of a statistical universe [Smile]
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The Rabbit
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Results are starting to be released in the Iraqi elections and things are looking grim. The preliminary results indicate that the country is falling apart along sectarian lines. Sunni's are claiming massive fraud in Baghdad where the Shia coalition received 3 times as many votes as might be expected if every Shia had voted for the coalition. Some calls are being made to rerun the elections in Baghdad.

report
, report 2,

web page

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Sopwith
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Perhaps we need to introduce the purple paints to our own elections. I'd like to see the joy in our eyes that we are seeing in the eyes of the very brave people voting in Iraq.

We need to feel as involved in our elections as these people are hoping to be. We need to feel that our votes are historic, no matter how minor we make them seem.

I wish them success, I wish them peace, I wish the children who came to the elections to grow up in a stable, participatory democracy that will help them realize their dreams.

And I believe we should stay for as long as a legitimate Iraqi government wishes us to, to help protect the futures of those purple-fingered, smiling children.

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Bob_Scopatz
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I wear a "I voted" sticker after every time I go to the polls. That's even more visible than a purpling of the digit.

It hasn't seemed to inspire others much.

I worry about the insurgency and other "losers" in this election deciding to raise a stink. If they find problems with the election and can document them, it'd be a pretty serious setback there and back here in the USA.

I hope for a speedy and satisfactory resolution to the current controversy.

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Sterling
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Is it possible that the question of the American occupation is more complicated to most Iraqis than can be easily and simply answered in a yes/no/undecided poll?

Very few people with a sense of national identity or patriotism would _want_ a foreign force occupying their country. Many probably recognize it as a necessary evil and hope the occupation doesn't last longer than necessary. Some (particularly the Kurds) may actively embrace the American presence.

I'm glad to see the Iraqis going to the polls. I dearly hope it means Iraq will be a safer place by the time my brother-in-law gets there. But those pundits who treat the bungled utter-lack-of-a-plan invasion as an unqualified success (or, god forbid, the prototypical blueprint for something) deserve a good smack upside the head, whatever the ultimate result.

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