"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Off the bandwagon

"A victory for freedom in the middle east" apparently. A recipe to be repeated in future ventures I'm guessing, obviously not an original, but if ain't broke, why fix it? Take one war torn country, take one humiliated, starving and terrified population, take one occupying military force and add one hope. The predictable amazement of nearly every mainstream journalist becomes more sinister every day. Of course the images of Iraqi people bearing their inked fingers to the vulturous western cameras is a historic and momentus occasion, but did anyone seriously expect no one to turn out for their first elections. Putting aside the "free, fair and democratic" rhetoric for a moment, it was quite obvious that a substantial turnout was in order, Vietnam being the obvious, yet not completely comparative, preview of what was to come. For the first time in their history, the Iraqi people were given the impression that they were the makers of their own destiny. Even the threat of death, to a people made so familiar with the concept over the last year, could not stop a large portion of them leaving the relative safety of their rubble homes and voting for a candidate. What these journalists forget to mention in the fervor of jumping on the band wagon, is that, other than several million people voting, Iraq had a day much the same as any other. Some people were blown up, some were shot, some recieved no medical attention, some recieved no food, some had no access to water or electricity and none of this had any bearing on the outcome, apparently. The fact is, it is far to early to tell if this election will make any significant difference for the people of Iraq. With the past our only sign of whats to come, the future looks military in nature. However it must be conceeded that although they were neither free, fair or democractic, they were elections. Saddam would be proud.