It has come to my attention reading through the Iraqi election threads today that not too many American Mudcatters seem to be very up on what this Iraqi election thing is all about.
As the BBC reported this week:
"It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between public service broadcasts made by the Independent Iraqi Electoral Commission and election ads endorsing a particular political party, as most share a lofty, above-politics style, appealing to people to vote as an act of everyday heroism.
One public information ad shows an old man facing down a group of masked youths with the help of other ordinary Iraqis."
So in another words, the occupation government propaganda is telling Iraqis they must vote in order to oppose the insurgency, which many of them support, at least for reasons of protective coloration.
And then there is the question of where is the money coming from to advertise the candidates and their positions?
Occupation government head, Interim Prime Minister Allawi (a former CIA agent), used his political influence and financial resources to dominate election coverage, especially on al-Iraqiyah (the government owned network).
How "free and fair" is that? And then, incredulously, the US media turns around and reports how good Allawi's chances are of being "re-elected" prime minister.
Yet, how many Americans or Brits know about these things? All we've seen on our newscasts for weeks and months, have been reports about the "security situation", and have rarely mentioned that the entire country is being ruled by martial law. Allawi first declared martial law on November 8, 2004, for 60 days. The following day, Iraq's most prominent Sunni party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, says it is withdrawing from the interim government. The Association of Muslim Scholars, a group of respected Sunni clerics, calls for a boycott of coming elections.
Allawi extended martial law indefinitely again in early January, to last "through the election period".