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Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Vote or Starve: Your Call, Iraqis

Dahr Jamail is one of the few independent journalists operating in Iraq, outside of the 'official' news media corps. He is not content to simply get his information spoon-fed to him from the US military or the corporate media, so he went there to check the facts on the ground for himself, and report back to us what he sees and hears there.

Things like this little tidbit he unearthed about why turnout was so 'heavy' in Bagdahd and other cities in the recent election in Iraq:
Many Iraqis said Monday that their names were marked on a list provided by the government agency that provides monthly food rations before they were allowed to vote.

”I went to the voting centre and gave my name and district where I lived to a man,” said Wassif Hamsa, a 32-year-old journalist who lives in the predominantly Shia area Janila in Baghdad. ”This man then sent me to the person who distributed my monthly food ration.”

Mohammed Ra'ad, an engineering student who lives in the Baya'a district of the capital city reported a similar experience.

Ra'ad, 23, said he saw the man who distributed monthly food rations in his district at his polling station. ”The food dealer, who I know personally of course, took my name and those of my family who were voting,” he said. ”Only then did I get my ballot and was allowed to vote.”

”Two of the food dealers I know told me personally that our food rations would be withheld if we did not vote,” said Saeed Jodhet, a 21-year-old engineering student who voted in the Hay al-Jihad district of Baghdad.

There has been no official indication that Iraqis who did not vote would not receive their monthly food rations.

Many Iraqis had expressed fears before the election that their monthly food rations would be cut if they did not vote. They said they had to sign voter registration forms in order to pick up their food supplies.

There's more at the link, but you get the gist of it. This is not the definition of a democracy or anything close to it. Voting at the point of a gun is not democracy nor is withholding someone's food unless they vote.

This is a sham, plain and simple. These people were coerced into 'voting' simply because the US-sponsored government wanted a high turnout in the 'election' last week.

This is a shame.

Sham and Shame just about cover it.

And anyway, the Iraqis didn't vote just to make Bush feel good. The ones who didn't vote for food, voted to get us the hell out of their country.
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