Stuffing ballots

Back in July, Seymour Hersh reported on Iraq’s January elections and claimed the Bush administration had covertly supported Iraqi candidates and parties with close ties to the White House.

Last weekend’s election on Iraq’s referendum was yet another attempt to bring “democracy and freedom” to the country. But what of the legitimacy of the election itself?

Juan Cole writes that large voting irregularities appear in one province.

The Asian Times suggests that, “in the January election, the Kurds dealt with the problem of being a relatively small minority in the [Nineveh] province by stuffing the ballot boxes.”

The New York Times, meanwhile, reports that despite nearly three years of propaganda suggesting the so-called democratic process will bring stability, “senior officials say the intelligence reports flowing over their desks in recent months argue that even if democratic institutions take hold, the insurgency may strengthen. And that possibility has created a quandary for an administration that desperately wants to equate democracy-building with winning the war, but so far has not been able to match the two.”

In Australia, our media offers little more than platitudes and “democracy on the march” stories.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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