is true that millions of Iraqis have participated
in the "elections", but by international
standard, the turnout was very low. On the day of
the elections Iraq was in a state of siege, cut
off from all directions. Journalists were also limited
to areas of higher turnout, and the international
monitors stayed in Jordan, 1200 km from Iraq. The
elections were designed to provide legitimacy to
the illegitimacy of the elections, which are held
under foreign military occupation, Iraqis who came
out for the elections voted to end the occupation,
not to endorse its continuity. About 7 million of
the 18 million eligible Iraqi voters in Iraq and
about 280,000 of the 4 million Iraqi voters outside
Iraq voted in the elections. They were hoping that
their participation would lead to an end of occupation
and violence in their homeland.
media and western pundits sold the elections as
the 'road toward democracy'. The opposite is true.
The purpose of the elections was to persuade the
outside world, particularly the US citizens, to
support the occupation and US foreign policy. US
interests have very little to do with fair elections
to the US-based Carter Centre, which monitored elections
around the world, the US have endorsed illegitimate
and fraud elections in Azerbaijan but rejected or
disendorsed legitimate and democratic elections
in Venezuela. Further, the Centre did not participate
in the Iraq's elections because Iraq's elections
do not met the elections' criteria, such as free
and safe environment, and the ability of candidates
to move freely. The candidates, with their identities
remain secret, are those who entered Iraq on the
back of US tanks, collaborated with the Occupation,
and depend on it for survival. All independent voices
in Iraq, regardless of ethnicity, have boycotted
Bush administration claims that the elections are
somehow an endorsement for the war and the Occupation
are misleading and untrue. The war is an illegal
act of aggression in violations of international
law. The occupation is against the wishes of the
majority of the Iraqi people. All Iraqis are in
favour of free and fair elections as long as the
occupation forces withdraw from Iraq. The US brought
nothing good to Iraq. It brought destruction and
has encouraged the eventual division of Iraq on
sectarian lines. Military occupation by force is
not freedom or liberty.
future Iraq submissive to US imperialism put flagrantly
by two mainstream media outlets in the US. The Washington
Post argued that the elections in Iraq constituted
"an answer to the question of whether the mission
in Iraq remains a just cause." The Los Angeles
Times ranted, "the world could honestly see
American troops making it possible for a long-oppressed
people to choose their destiny." The Iraqi
people have voted to end US domination even if they
voted in illegitimate elections.
Cole, the American Blogger and textbooks "experts"
on Iraq told C-Span Washington Journal on 27 January
2005, that, "Iraq is like South Africa during
the Apartheid regime [a major US ally], the US had
to invade and change the regime of Saddam and give
power to the Shiites majority". The comment
is not only ill informed and misleading; it is foolish.
Also, Shiites as a majority is very disputed figure
in Iraq itself. There is not a single town or city
in Iraq that is purely "Sunnis". Mr Cole
also said that he studied Iraq in the US from textbooks
because he "couldn't get visa to do fieldwork
in Iraq during Saddam regime". This is utterly
untrue. Iraq has been very frequent destination
by Westerners, such as workers, scientists and archaeologists.
My 85 years-old father once said: "Our family
have lived on this River [the Tigris] for generations,
and we have not experienced the kind of division
and racism Western, and particularly American pundits
and academics are promoting in order to sell themselves
and their books". Only in the West people are
ranting about Iraq's division and Iraq's ethnicity.
The elections were designed to establish sectarianism
in Iraq, not democracy.
Sunnis, Shiites and Christians have lived together
since the rise of Islam. There has never been a
civil war, or talk about civil war in Iraq. Suddenly
everyone is talking about civil war in Iraq. Civil
wars are imperialism useful tools to rule the native
peoples and provide fodder for domestic consumption.
The more the natives are divided, the easier to
rule them and exploit them. Iraq's problem is not
an internal problem; it is a Western-created problem.
The US and Britain fabricated lies in order to invade
Iraq, remove a nationalist government, and seize
control of Iraq's oil reserves. Saddam was a pretext
for an illegal war of aggression in violations of
and his regime is now the West "moral compass".
The more he is demonised, the more brutal the US
treatment of the Iraqi people becomes. This is very
evident in the passive stand Western and American
citizens took in response to the torture, abuse
and murder of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and
other prisons throughout Iraq. An experiment in
human torture has been validated and accepted in
the West, but only if the victims are the "others".
recent scientific study in the prestigious British
journal The Lancet showing that there were more
than 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed as a result
of US invasion and occupation, was immediately ignored
in the Anglo-Saxon countries, particularly the US.
By contrast, the death of 3000 citizens as a result
of the 9/11 attacks is repeated daily in order to
justify war and occupation of other countries.
to recent polls reported in the September 26, 2004
of The Seattle Times, 98 per cent of Iraqis want
the Americans to leave their country. The majority
of the Iraqi people have also boycotted the elections.
The elections are a farce. They are rigged and forced
on the Iraqi people at gunpoint in order to elect
candidates who support the continuing of the US
Occupation. For Iraqis, the elections did not change
anything on the ground, the deliberate destruction
of their country and society will continue.
Bush administration is increasing its hold on the
country, using the pretexts of democracy and fraudulent
elections to legitimise the Occupation. Who ever
win in these elections will remain in power only
with the support of US occupation forces. The elections
form part of the foundation for a corrupt colonial
dictatorship in Iraq. This is evident in the US
refusal to agree to a timetable for troops withdrawal
and prevents further escalation in violence, and
continues to build military bases there against
the wishes of the Iraqi people.
the US wants to end the violence, an exit strategy
to end the US Occupation of Iraq is now available.
The elections should provide a first step to free
Iraq from US occupation, and allow the Iraqi people
to build their society and their country free from
Ghali Hassan lives in Perth Western Australia.
He can be reached at e-mail: G.Hassan@exchange.curtin.edu.au