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Thursday, December 23, 2004

They're Gonna Need Some REALLY BIG Binoculars

Apparently, the international observers of the election in Iraq are going to observe from Jordan. Which, in case your Middle East geographical knowledge is a little low, is ANOTHER COUNTRY.

The NYT article is also entertaining, in that it manages to defend the role of vote observes for their ability to maintain the integrity of elections...that end up with US interests served. Afghanistan and Ukraine are mentioned specifically.

At any rate, this is the perfect opportunity to make fun of the current administration, which seems to be operating under the assumption that democracy will thwart terrorism, and therefore the elections, in and of themselves, are going to stop the insurgency. As if the Iraqis are going to say "Wow, I can...vote? Time to turn in this AK and go to work!" Not that there is work, of course, but you get the picture. Or do you? I mean, the Iraqis probably don't. The guerillas certainly don't.

Also interesting is the fact that this is the last hurdle. The Bush Pirates have had several markers that would end their role in Iraq and end the combat.

1. The fall of Baghdad
2. The end of "combat operations" (all cities under US/British military control)
3. The appointment of counterrorism expert Paul Bremer
4. The disbanding of the Iraqi army
5. The deaths of Oday and Qusay
6. The capture of Saddam Hussein
7. The battle for Fallujah (part 1)
8. The handover of "sovereignty"
9. The battle for Fallujah (part 2)

and 10. the elections.

Anyone else remember the elections under Jay Garner? You remember Jay Garner, right? He was the general appointed to lead the reconstruction of Iraq? He lasted about a month before Bremer replaced him. Garner was working on nationwide elections in the summer of '03. Bremer demolished those plans and now it's January 30, 2005. I would like, someday, someone to research how this happened. Why Garner was the man and then so not the man. Why the elections were canceled. And so forth.

The Neo-Futurists, the sketch theatre group in Chicago, did a play about the transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis. They had the Americans hand over the "key", and then dance away to the song "bye bye bye." It was funny, but oh so wrong.
- Rowan Kaiser, 4:27 AM
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