Monday, September 27, 2004

Election Problems

In contrast to the upbeat assessments by the administration, the situation on the ground sounds different.
"The key thing is that the UN election people and their NGO helpers are all in Baghdad because it's too dangerous to travel around the country. But elections are by their nature a decentralized process, taking place in every city and town (well, except for Falluja, Ramadi, Samarra, etc.) throughout the country. You can't really do this work properly while sitting in the Green Zone. And in a little-known fact, these elections won't be monitored by international observers so they'll almost certainly be fraudulent no matter how the Sunni Triangle situation gets resolved. And even if they somehow are free and fair, there still won't be any monitors so there'll be no proof that they're free and fair if folks who aren't happy with the results want to complain about them.

The whole thing is going to be a farce on so many levels that, in fact, I'm a bit puzzled by the level of concern that some folks in town are raising about specific elements of the election plan. You could solve every single problem I've heard discussed in the major media and you still wouldn't be anywhere near a credible vote. And there's simply no way at this point to whip things into anything even vaguely resembling acceptable shape."

No comments: