Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush's Other Election

On Sunday, President Bush will hold his Iraq election over the misgivings of just about everyone from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Iraqi President Gazi al-Yawer.

If you’re not sure who the candidates are, you’re not alone. I just saw an Iraqi Sunni on CNN say he was going to write in George Michael, the singer, because he knows absolutely nothing about the newly returned expatriates who are running for office in his country.

But as a Sunni, that guy's screwed anyhow. The smart money is on Shiite Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani's Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri).

On a side note, I can't believe the Muslim world isn't more thankful for the hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of US military casualties President Bush expended to create an Islamic revolutionary government in Iraq. Go figure.

Anyhow, in a preview of things to come, and despite a two day extension, very few eligible Iraqi expatriates have signed up to vote. Fewer than one-in-ten, by most counts.

There's also the issue of campaign financing. The two main parties, the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance and PM Allawi's Iraqi List coalition, are rolling in dough, but no one knows where it's coming from. And since the guys running for office are also the guys responsible for enforcing campaign finance laws, no one is trying very hard to find out.

At the UN, Kofi Annan says, "As far as we are concerned, all the technical preparations are ready." Note the careful phrasing. Because President Bush has ignored all calls to secure Iraq before the election, the UN only has 25 election experts in the country. And their only task is to help set up the procedures - not to manage, coordinate, or even observe. If the election results are challenged (bet on it), we're not going to see the same peaceful acceptance of the result that we saw in Afghanistan.

Here's how I predict the election will work out - check me on it: Turnout will be mediocre. The results will be contested. Chaos and street fighting will ensue. The current interim government will remain in power for the duration of the "emergency". Eventually, some kind of power sharing will be hammered out between Allawi and the Shiites, a couple token Sunnis will be added at the insistence of the Bush administration (probably the one's who are already in the interim government), and the Kurds will just wait the whole thing out in Kurdistan, knowing that eventually the "new" Iraqi government will offer them some kind of deal.

In other words, I predict that when the dust settles, and despite the actual election results, all the major players in the interim government will still be there and the security situation will be about what it is now. This will be a replay of last summer when the Iraqi Governing Council renamed itself "the interim government".

Long-term, I predict a Shiite dominated theocracy based on Sharia law.

I showed you mine, now you show me yours.

Posted by American Pundit at January 26, 2005 11:34 AM