Who cares about elections?


As the Bush PR machine continues its relentless spewing about the value of Iraqi elections, pockets of American media are starting to report the reality about the alleged upcoming vote. The LA Times is on the case, as is the editorial page of the NYT. But none of the media is asking who cares about the vote.

Iraq is a bloody mess. It is an occupied land, a breeding ground for Al Qaeda, and a shell of what it was two years ago. Do you think this little girl is happy that the Americans came to "help" her parents vote?


Reality check: under the brutal Saddam Hussein, Iraqi women could wear Western clothes and get divorces; the citizens of Baghdad had electricity and running water; children could play outside without fear of being shot by American soldiers. Saddam was horrible, but no where near the horror that we have wrought.And now the vote is 18 days away. And it is of tremendous importance to the Bush team, but only, of course, from a PR perspective. Why?Perhaps it's because this nightmare of blood and bombs came to be called, again for PR reasons, "Operation Iraqi Freedom." It should have been called "Operation Find the WMDs" or "Operation Stop the Mushroom Cloud," since that was the reason Congress gave Bush the authority to go to war. But in a prescient moment, the Pentagon PR flacks tagged it "Operation Iraqi Freedom." Prescient because there are no WMDs. There haven't been since before the Clinton administration. But there are, supposedly, a bunch of Iraqis who want "freedom."In the 2004 election here in our Wal-Mart nation, to be poor, black, or a Democrat meant you were likely to be harrassed, forced to wait all day in the rain, or kept from voting altogether. But in the 2005 Iraq elections that team Bush still insists will go forward, being a voter means you are likely to be killed. Despite that mortal danger, ordinary Iraqis would probably flood the polls if they could vote the occupiers out of their once sovreign nation.The truth is, the Iraq elections of January 30 will be relevant only to the Bush PR machine, who will declare yet another bogus "Mission Accomplished."