Iraqis preparing to decide...

#1
Only hours separate us from a major historic day for our nation (too many historic days for Iraq in these two years!). Tomorrow will draw a line that would mark the beginning of a new era in Iraq; a constitutional Iraq will become reality.
It’s only a beginning since there will be more steps to go but it’s the right beginning because it’s a transition from temporary laws to a permanent-though amendable-constitution on which the people will assume control through their elected representatives and through their own direct votes.

It is really amazing how things have changed in Iraq; three years ago Saddam “won” 100% of the votes in a pathetic referendum that he designed in order to give legitimacy to his reign while yesterday even security detainees were allowed to express their opinion on the constitution through voting and the government and parliament are almost begging the 15 million plus voters to say ‘yes’!
And although many signs indicate that the document is on its way to be ratified, no one can say it is until the people decide which checkbox to tic tomorrow.
Some people would say “Is that all you won, after more than two years of war and violence? That’s only one basic right” well, that is the point; we’ve secured one key right that can help us secure the rest.

Approving this draft is not the end goal, it’s a step among others in this process of evolution in Iraq and it’s going to be the gate to more steps until we reach the day when we have a constitution that satisfies and serves the greatest majority of the people.

Now let me take you in a short journey in Baghdad; I woke up this morning and decided to take a tour to see Baghdad preparing for the referendum, first thing I saw and surprised me was a leaflet thrown in front of our door. It was calling for a ‘NO’ stating 10 reasons for doing that. I read the leaflet that had the Ba’athist tone with five out of 10 of the points said that approving this draft constitution is a Zionist goal. I tried hard to find a connection and of course there wasn’t any and it looked like a desperate attempt to use conspiracy theories.

To give you an example of the points in that paper I’ll tell you what one point was “what if an Iraqi woman married an Israeli man? Should we grant their children the Iraqi nationality!!!???” and yes, they used way too many exclamation points and question marks.

I walked away feeling more willing to vote with ‘yes’. Baghdad’s streets weren’t crowded as they usually are and checkpoints were everywhere and roads leading to the voting stations were mostly blocked. Most of these stations are located inside the buildings of schools and these in turn are inside residential blocks which makes them easier to protect.

People on the street, TV and radio are all talking about the coming historic event while papers went on hiatus since yesterday but many of them published the document on Wednesday to ensure that more people get to read it.
Although the distribution didn’t go perfectly, I doubt there are many who didn’t get the chance to take a look as the document was published many times on different outlets including websites and there were many discussions on TV where articles were discusses thoroughly. Add to this the thousands of workshops and lectures organized by NGOs. So I think it’s fair to say that only those who weren’t interested in the subject would say that they didn’t have the chance to read the document.
Of course SMSs on cell phones were also utilized for advertising this or that point of view. Yesterday I received an SMS from a Turkmen friend of mine asking me to vote ‘no’ and to forward the message to 10 other contacts!

Actually the Turkmen front decided to reject the draft some time ago and some Assyrian powers in Kirkuk joined them too so it is expected that we’re going to see many ‘no’ ballots in Kirkuk.

In Baghdad, some districts witnessed rallies celebrating the agreement between the Sunni .and the Kurdish and Sheat leaders on the constitution and people were flying Iraqi flags and firing fireworks.
The walls are covered by many of thousands of posters and banners; most of which encourage a ‘yes’ while some call for a ‘no’. The association of Muslim scholars accused the security forces of tearing their posters but in fact I saw many torn posters from both sides.

On the other hand, the Islamic Party is winning the respect of Iraqis for its courage and role in pushing the process forward; actually it’s a rare occasion where secular people thank and support a religious party for doing something. This can be understood when remembering that secular parties will be the ones to benefit more from the aftermath of this after the new parliament is elected.

In my opinion, this morning’s attacks on the offices of this party prove our idea when we said that no reconciliation is needed in Iraq and when we said that civil war in Iraq is not a strong possibility. It has shown that the conflict is not between the average citizens themselves but it’s rather a conflict between the average Iraqis and the terrorists and it has shown clear that this terrorism is not sectarian in nature but it’s in fact one of politics and interests.


I am so excited but a flashback from Saddam’s referendum three years ago still hurts; he wanted a 100% as the 99.96% of the previous one shocked the dictator. I was depressed that way and I decided not to go to the voting office and so did the rest of the family but my father was afraid that not going could be dangerous.
He said that maybe one member of the family could go alone and cast votes for the rest of us. We looked at each other thinking who’s going to volunteer to do this ugly job to protect the family. At that moment my father said “it was my generation that caused the misery we’re living in so I’m the one who should do this”.
I couldn’t stop him and I couldn’t utter a word but I felt sad for him; his sacrifice was big and I had teary eyes when I watched him taking our papers and heading out.

It is different this time father, no more 100% and a ‘no’ would make me happy just like a ’yes’ would do and no one ever will force us to do something against our will anymore.
Tomorrow will be another day for Iraqi bravery. May God protect you my people…you have suffered so much and you will still be suffering for some time but I am sure the future will be bright.
God bless you my people and all the freedom lovers who keep sacrificing to make this world a better place
.
This is from the Blog Iraq the Modell. Good luck to the people of Iraq.
Live blogging the vote in Iraq is Bareknucklepolitics lots of links lots of links.
 
#2
Friend and I had a little bet on who the first ink stained finger will belong to. An old woman or a young lady. Won. Owes me a drink. Good day! :lol:

Good luck to the people, and to our lads and lassies!
 
#4
....and now, the reality.....

I fail to understand why the times online article represents reality. Let the voters decided. The casting of votes of 14 million people is a greater indicator of reality than one letter from one person. Go to the blog Iraq the Model there is a picture of another reality, one of great difficulties but of hope. What the Times online article simply takes is a pessimistic approach. The Times online article supports a reality of hopelessness that reinforces its pessimism or as we say in the US a nattering nabob's of negativism
No one can know what the future will bring.There totalitarian past offered no hope for the future of Iraq. The Iraqi people even with the great difficulties are attempting to pursue a more democratic course. That democratic course promises to provide a more prosperous,free and safe future for them. They are on that course. It is their interest they succeed. It is our interest they succeed. There are many indications of success. Let us celebrate those success
 
#5
Think I prefer the Times view of reality to some selected right-wing propaganda. You must spend hours searching the web, or are they supplied to you by the Republican Party?
 
#6
I'd also suggest 'Iraq: The State We're In' by Patrick Cockburn, published in Friday 14th's Independent.


http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article319606.ece

It's rather long Neocon, and gets frightfully complex at times, but if you stick with it, you'll see that there are many grey (gray) areas explored that are generally anathema/inconvenient to US right wing freedom providers. Suffice to say, Sunnis, Kurds, Shias hate each other, but all will unite to a man because they hate you more, and the idea of Iraq being occupied by YOU.
 
#7
Think I prefer the Times view of reality to some selected right-wing propaganda. You must spend hours searching the web, or are they supplied to you by the Republican Party?
I read a lot. Try it. You may like it. Here are a couple more sites you should like
Suffice to say, Sunnis, Kurds, Shias hate each other, but all will unite to a man because they hate you more, and the idea of Iraq being occupied by YOU.


I don't think Sunnis, Kurds, and Shias hate each other any more than saxons hated normans or the French hated the British and they learned to live and work together . Americans, everybody loves Americans. It just bush they don't like.
 
#8
NEO_CON said:
Americans, everybody loves Americans. It just bush they don't like.
:? Ah... have you ever lived out of America, Neo Con? I'm really not trying to pick a fight or to dissillusion you, but...that made me spew my tea.
 
#9
Is it true NC that you are the offspring of a Iranian family who decided to leave when the Shah was deposed?

A united Iraq, lead by a Shia dominated puppet Government, would provide the launch pad for an invasion of Iran, that would return you (and your people) to what you clearly believe is your rightful home and preferably to some position of power in a now puppet Iran.

Hmmmmm!
 
#10
Radical_Dreamer said:
NEO_CON said:
Americans, everybody loves Americans. It just bush they don't like.
:? Ah... have you ever lived out of America, Neo Con? I'm really not trying to pick a fight or to dissillusion you, but...that made me spew my tea.

...as for me, I don't think I'm alone in saying my blood runs cold when I see your flag waving, or hear the star spangled banner being played. It's all the associations with interference, intervention, invasion, bombing of innocents, propagandising 'smart' weapons, deploying of dirty tricks, dumbing down and cheapening of culture, rewriting of history, privatisation of good public services, cynical vetoing at the Security Council - the list goes on, and Blair wants to make it a crime to incite terrorism! - he should kick off by arraigning Bush Senior, Bush Junior and himself.
 
#11
Whether you like it or nor the Iraqi's have voted in far larger numbers than has voted in elections in the US and UK. Its fair to say that 80% of the eligible voters will vote for the constitution. Getting the Sunni's on board may well be mission impossible. They have been the ruling class of Iraq at the expense of the Kurds and Shia for decades. They were the base of Saddam's power. The Sunni's cannot win by force and some tribes see the handwritting on the wall and are engaging in peaceful dialogue with the Iraqi government. Violence today has been the low with a few isolated attacks I think that is a hopeful sign.
 
#12
as for me, I don't think I'm alone in saying my blood runs cold when I see your flag waving, or hear the star spangled banner being played. It's all the associations with interference, intervention, invasion, bombing of innocents, propagandising 'smart' weapons, deploying of dirty tricks, dumbing down and cheapening of culture, rewriting of history, privatisation of good public services, cynical vetoing at the Security Council - the list goes on, and Blair wants to make it a crime to incite terrorism! - he should kick off by arraigning Bush Senior, Bush Junior and himself.
Don't think I can help you frenchperson. We will have to agree to disagree.
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
Whilst I would normally like to slag off a few yanks to let them know that not everyone likes their brand of democracy, I will refrain at this time.

Iraq: We have invaded their country, imposed our form of governance upon them and told them how to live their lives. We have outlived our usefulness in Iraq and they want us to leave. All FACTS.

Exit strategy, well apart from President Tony saying come home boys, there is no real exit strategy. (Sorry, did I just commit thought crime? Will President Tony and his Neue Arbeit mates come and get me?)

Yes, Iraqis should be left to determine their fate, yes they need government. But they have lived for thousands of years with a soceity that is tribal, usually with autocratic leadership mainly based upon islamic law. Who the hell are we to tell them how to govern themselves?
 
#14
NEO_CON said:
as for me, I don't think I'm alone in saying my blood runs cold when I see your flag waving, or hear the star spangled banner being played. It's all the associations with interference, intervention, invasion, bombing of innocents, propagandising 'smart' weapons, deploying of dirty tricks, dumbing down and cheapening of culture, rewriting of history, privatisation of good public services, cynical vetoing at the Security Council - the list goes on, and Blair wants to make it a crime to incite terrorism! - he should kick off by arraigning Bush Senior, Bush Junior and himself.
Don't think I can help you frenchperson. We will have to agree to disagree.


Oh, I forgot. Add torture to that list
 
#15
Replies deleted.

Post, not the poster please.
 
#16
mysteron wrote
Whilst I would normally like to slag off a few yanks to let them know that not everyone likes their brand of democracy, I will refrain at this time.

Iraq: We have invaded their country, imposed our form of governance upon them and told them how to live their lives. We have outlived our usefulness in Iraq and they want us to leave. All FACTS.

Exit strategy, well apart from President Tony saying come home boys, there is no real exit strategy. (Sorry, did I just commit thought crime? Will President Tony and his Neue Arbeit mates come and get me?)

Yes, Iraqis should be left to determine their fate, yes they need government. But they have lived for thousands of years with a soceity that is tribal, usually with autocratic leadership mainly based upon islamic law. Who the hell are we to tell them how to govern themselves?
Its not a thousand years ago
9/11 is what happen,proliferation of WMD is what is happening ,jets that can fly from the middle east to London and then on to New York in a couple of hours is what is happening . Weapons where a few people can kill or disrupt millions is what is happening. The governments in the middle east are so dysfunctional that they are unable to provide the basic opportunities and material wellbeing that their growing populations require. They instead are preaching and exporting a Islamo fascisms ideology that condones suicide bombing that calls their followers to attack the west spread an Islamic Caliphate.

I would be more than happy to mind my own business, and make a good living , except others felt a need to attack me. The governments of the Middle east need to move to systems that provide its citizens with opportunities and hope for a better future. Democratic and free market systems can provide a better future for Iraqi not a totalitarian regime.

The Iraqi people realize this even if you don't.

They are voting in the millions for that better future. That's the most important fact of all



When the British where in Iraq in the 1920's there were 3 million Iraqi's now there are 24 million and its heading up.
 
#17
NEO_CON said:
9/11 is what happen
Nothing to do with Saddam or Iraq.

NEO_CON said:
proliferation of WMD is what is happening
Nothing to do with Saddam or Iraq.

NEO_CON said:
jets that can fly from the middle east to London and then on to New York in a couple of hours is what is happening
Iraqi Airforce did not possess such aircraft. Iraqi Airways banned from EU and North America.

NEO_CON said:
Weapons where a few people can kill or disrupt millions is what is happening
Owned by many, many countries. But the bloodiest and 'quickest' genocide in modern history was performed with the use of the machete.

NEO_CON said:
They instead are preaching and exporting a Islamo fascisms ideology that condones suicide bombing that calls their followers to attack the west spread an Islamic Caliphate
Nothing to do with Saddam or Iraq.

NEO_CON said:
The governments in the middle east are so dysfunctional that they are unable to provide the basic opportunities and material wellbeing that their growing populations require I would be more than happy to mind my own business, and make a good living , except others felt a need to attack me. The governments of the Middle east need to move to systems that provide its citizens with opportunities and hope for a better future. Democratic and free market systems can provide a better future for Iraqi not a totalitarian regime.
So, does this mean that all ME countries need to be invaded and occupied until they 'learn the lesson'?

NEO_CON said:
They are voting in the millions for that better future. That's the most important fact of all
Most of them feel compelled to vote as instructed by their Mullahs. Is that democracy? I think not!

NEO_CON said:
When the British where in Iraq in the 1920's there were 3 million Iraqi's now there are 24 million and its heading up.
So what? Or this an underhand attempt to justify killing off a few now to keep the numbers down?

Considering all the above, I think that is ample demonstartion that you know little about the reason for the war and have blindly accepted the half-truths and deceptions spoon-feed to you by drivvel-minging wrong-wing blogs.


I notice you have avoided answering my earlier question. Are you an iranian-american?
 
#18
mysteron said:
Whilst I would normally like to slag off a few yanks to let them know that not everyone likes their brand of democracy, I will refrain at this time.

Iraq: We have invaded their country, imposed our form of governance upon them and told them how to live their lives. We have outlived our usefulness in Iraq and they want us to leave. All FACTS.

Exit strategy, well apart from President Tony saying come home boys, there is no real exit strategy. (Sorry, did I just commit thought crime? Will President Tony and his Neue Arbeit mates come and get me?)

Yes, Iraqis should be left to determine their fate, yes they need government. But they have lived for thousands of years with a soceity that is tribal, usually with autocratic leadership mainly based upon islamic law. Who the hell are we to tell them how to govern themselves?
Sorry Mysteron but I don't agree with all of these facts. There is a clear exit strategy: get the referendum passed, elect another Iraqi government, continue to build up their security forces until they can cope with whatever is left of the insurgency. What is so confusing about this? Perhaps you don't LIKE the exit strategy, perhaps you don't think it will WORK, perhaps you think the plan is FLAWED. But the plan is crystal clear.

Also you say the Iraqis want us to leave. Well, everyone wants us to leave - we want to leave. But I think you are implying the Iraqis want us out right now and I haven't seen any evidence to support this view. Turn out looks like over 60% i think - that indicates to me that most Iraqis are involved in and approve of the process.

Tricam.
 

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