Monday, January 31, 2005

Shocking. Amazing. Read all about it. Arabs can actually insert a piece of paper in a box. Western media are so impressed. They had assumed all along that Arab genetic makeup prevents the arduous process of inserting pieces of papers (with colors and prints) inside a box. And what’s the big deal. I normally confine my consumption of US media to the print media, unless I am driving and then am exposed to US networks through satellite radio. Robin Wright of the Washington Post (for whom I cooked a great meal years ago) made a very important point on CNN: the Bush administration was opposed to the elections in Iraq. It was the Grand Dude (Sistani) who insisted on elections, when the US (backed by its collection of unsavory puppet characters) was insisting on “caucuses” in order to guarantee the rule of its puppets. So now the Iraqis have voted: the Shi`ite largely voted because they were ordered by the Grand Dude, and the Kurds were also voting on secession, to form their own independent state. And Iraqis want a break from Saddam’s horrors, and want a break from US occupation. This is the beginning of a process that will produce a Kurdish state in the north, and an Islamic Shi`ite republic of sorts in the South. Bush will be remembered for bringing an Islamic Shi`ite Republic into Iraq. Salute him, if you are a fan of the rule of the Ayatollahs. I am not, personally. And why is the US media treating the events so festively, as if the Iraqis have voted for Bush and his occupation? On the contrary, Sistani has been insisting on elections because he believes that they will put in place a government that would bring an end to the occupation. So the pro-war advocates in this country should not get too excited too soon. Now, of course, Zarqawi’s kooky discourse against democracy and elections did not, and will not, go well with the Iraqi people. That should not be surprising. Zarqaqi and Bin Ladin and their fanatical kooks will never achieve popular support, nor do they deserve it. The Iraqis also want to put an end to the brutality of Saddam’s rule, and his horrific symbols. But why is Bush taking credit, and for what? He did not install his puppets through “the caucuses” after all, as he had wanted all along. I heard one anchorperson on a US network (I think it was CNNFOXABCCBSNBCCNBC, if I am not mistaken) ask a reporter who just landed in Iraq about the “real feelings” of the Iraqi people. But let us not quibble about voters’ turnout. The “independent” election commission (formed by US occupation) initially claimed that the turnout was 72%. Later on, they said it was more around 60% (the Guardian is saying 57%--but do you doubt that even if the turnout is 1.4% Bush and his chorus in the media will declare that a great success?). When asked to explain the discrepancy, the official in charge said that “oh, we were speculating earlier on the basis of the sight of long lines of voters.” The radical Marxist Iraqi poet, Mudhdhaffar An-Nawwab (whose poetry had appeared on this site before), voted in Syria. He said that “my feeling transcends joy and sadness because I feel a great responsibility that will determine the destiny of Iraq and the region and after 35 years of displacement, exile, sadness, death, and mass graves…It is our duty to call for the withdrawal of foreign forces and in whatever means that are agreed upon by the people including armed struggle but not now and until the people are certain that Americans and foreign forces reject the request of the government for withdrawal…” And by the way, why are the election results have to wait for 10 days? I do not mean to be cynical, especially about the motives of the most benevolent occupation ever. It is also amazing that some US commentators are treating this event as yet another date that is supposed to end US occupation problems and obstacles. If anything, the election can be seen as a form of peaceful resistance to the American occupation, and will empower whatever “government” that will emerge, if it is allowed to emerge that is. Occupation will continue, and opposition (peaceful and otherwise) to the occupation will only increase.