Sunday, January 30, 2005

Stick it

Bush hails the “courage” of the Iraqis who came out to vote (“They have demonstrated the kind of courage that is always the foundation of self-government”), ignoring the fact that it was his failure to create the conditions of security which some would consider the prerequisite of a free vote that made voting an act of courage in the first place.

Wednesday I predicted there wouldn’t be much violence today. Yesterday I guessed (not here in the blog, which I thought would be ghoulish) 15-20 dead. It was higher than that, but as far as we know mostly confined to Baghdad. Elsewhere, weeks of threats did their job. With the travel ban, and journalists in fear for their lives, 1) we won’t hear of some of the violence outside the Green Zone, 2) turnout figures will be inflated with little fear of discovery.

Juan Cole gives a nice summary of how these elections were forced on the Bushies against their will by Sistani and his followers, and why the cheerleading press should refrain from making this another “Mission Accomplished” moment (I think of it more as another Bush-and-the-plastic-turkey moment).

Just tuned in to Fox News, because it is both fair and balanced. It could have settled for just being fair or just being balanced, but no, nothing less than fair and balanced would do. Evidently, the Iraqi people told the insurgents to “stick it.”

To prevent fraud, voters dipped their fingers into the blood of infidels.

Bullets and ballots, like belt and suspenders.

Maybe it’s me, but this polling station in Mosul doesn’t really inspire much confidence.

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