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View Diary: The Iraq Election: Defining Success (489 comments)

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  •  I have to agree (none)
    any similarity between this imperial excercise and a real election is entirely coincidental.

    http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?sf=2813&art_id=vn20050130113139150C501681&click_id=2813

    'What a bloody charade'

    By Robert Fisk

    Baghdad - In Baghdad on Saturday they were supposed to be preparing for an election. But they were preparing for war.

    The American Bradley armoured vehicles on the streets, the United States foot patrols, the old Russian personnel carriers that Saddam Hussein bought on the cheap from the Soviet Union - now dressed up in the dull camouflage paint of the new Iraqi army - the hooded and masked policemen: they do not look like the prelude to an experiment in democracy. They are all waiting for the rivers of blood of which insurgents have warned. But there will be democracy in Iraq.

    The mortars rained down yesterday morning on the Green Zone where the US and British embassies are located, a "thumpety-thump-thump" that brought the American Apache choppers over the surrounding highways in less than 30 seconds - but the insurgents had disappeared.

    Then a fierce gun battle broke out in the very centre of Baghdad between Americans and insurgents. Too late again. The gunmen got away. Fantasy attacks before a fantasy election. Many Iraqis do not know the names of the candidates, let alone their policies.

    The media boys and girls will be expected to play along
    But there will be democracy in Iraq.

    The media boys and girls will be expected to play along with this. "Transition of power", says the hourly logo on CNN's live coverage of the election, though the poll is for a parliament to write a constitution, and the men who will form a majority within it will have no power.

    They have no control over their own oil, no authority over the streets of Baghdad, let alone the rest of the country, no workable army or loyal police force. Their only power is that of the American military and its 150 000 soldiers whom we could all see on the main intersections of Baghdad yesterday.

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