Thursday, January 27, 2005

Joseph K. in Iraq

Pepe Escobar on the Iraqi election:

"Of 1 million eligible expatriate voters, only 10% will actually vote. There are no Sunni Arab candidates (in part because the US military killed - or jailed - many Sunni party and tribal leaders). For any Iraqi in Jordan, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia or Turkey, it will be impossible to cross the border and vote: borders will be closed for three days. Inside Iraq there will be curfews - and even traffic will be blocked. Half of all candidates have already withdrawn. And there will be no international monitors. As the names of the roughly 7,700 candidates on 80 party coalition lists are still unknown on the eve of polling day, no wonder the word on Baghdad's streets is that 'the Americans gave us the first secret elections in history'."

The term 'secret ballot' in Iraq means it is a secret who you are voting for! In Kafka's great fictional work 'The Trial', no one will tell Joseph K. what he is accused of. In George Bush's great fictional work 'The Iraqi Election', no one will tell the people of Iraq who they are voting for. It's the ideal election, the election that the Powers That Be would like to see everywhere. Escobar continues with the $280 billion - and climbing - question:

". . . if the whole neo-conservative rationale for the invasion and occupation of Iraq was to facilitate the expansion of greater Israel and control a key energy source in the Middle East, how is it possible for Washington to even envision a retreat? The Pentagon has already announced that it is ready to keep at least 120,000 troops in Iraq for the next two years, under two pretexts: to train Iraqi security forces and to fight the guerrilla war. President George W Bush has spelled it all out: the US will not be leaving Iraq any time soon because he has interpreted his re-election as a confidence vote. Ask Vice President Dick Cheney (although he won't answer): the whole point of the US in Iraq is long-term domination over Arab oil."