Friday, September 24, 2004

The 75% to 80% Election

Sometimes I don't understand what the Bush Administration really means. Yesterday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke to Congress about the future Iraqi elections in January.

Rumsfeld said that elections might possibly be held in "three-quarters or four-fifths of the country. But in some places you couldn't because the violence is so great." He added "Well, so be it. Nothing's perfect in life, so you have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet."

Since he is only guessing at the percentage of area that Iraq could hold elections, it could actually be even less than the 75% he estimates. I wonder at what percentage of safe area in Iraq would be acceptable for an election. 70%? Or would only 60% be enough?

In the American presidential election of 2000 we had an election that in Rumsfeld's words were "not quite perfect." Yet we didn't have 20 to 30 percent of the voters not able to participate because the "violence is so great" again a Rumsfeld quote. Certainly it would be a miracle for an Iraqi election to approach our imperfect voting system, but not including such a large proportion of Iraqis seems rather undemocratic.

I think these people don't have much of a vision for what might occur in the 75 to 80 percent of Iraq. Don't they think that the Iraqi resistance may consider voting locations a prime target for violence? Do they not realize how dedicated the insurgency will be to disrupt this partial election? Can all the polling places really be protected from car/truck bombs, drive-by shootings, and suicide attacks?

It seems to me that this partial election idea may end up as just another attempt to implement another not so well thought out idea. It feels like just another venture in the realm of putting a pretty face on for the American people rather than run a proper election for the Iraqis.


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