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A Peek Behind The Iraq Election Propaganda

Reported by Melanie - January 28, 2005

I came across a very interesting article today (January 28, 2005) in the Denver, Colorado newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News. The title of the article is: Watching Iraq history 1,000 miles away. Many Colorado Iraqis long to vote but can't afford travel to U.S. polls. Here's an excerpt:

Iraqi-Americans in Colorado are chafing with frustration, wishing they could vote in the historic Iraqi election that starts today.

But for many it's simply too difficult and too expensive.

The interim Iraqi government is allowing ballots to be cast by anyone born in Iraq or with an Iraqi father - regardless of citizenship in another country. The voters will elect a National Assembly, which will write a constitution and elect a president and two deputies.

The closest polls to Colorado are in Chicago and the Los Angeles area, each roughly 1,000 miles away. And voters had to travel twice: to register one week and to vote the next. Other polling places are in Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Nashville, Tenn. (Emphasis added.)

Out-of-country polling places in the U.S. can be found at the Iraq Out-of-Country Voting Program. Iraqi-Americans wishing to partake in the first "free and fair elections" (as the Bush administration keeps reminding us) ever held in Iraq can vote in New Carrollton, Maryland; Southgate, Michigan; Skokie, Illinois; Rosemont, Illinois; Irvine, California or Nashville, Tennessee.

Think about the gaps in coverage here. Think about how far Iraqi-Americans living in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas have to travel to register and to vote. Think about how far Iraqi-Americans living in Northern California, Oregon and Washington state have to travel. Think about how far Iraqi-Americans living in Florida or Louisiana have to travel.

Despite the Bush administration's rhetoric, which most of our media is happy to parrot, the United States (through its "interim Iraqi government") doesn't seem to place a very high priority on getting Iraqis to the polls. If some Iraqis in this country have to make two trips (one to register and one to vote), of up to a thousand miles each, in order to cast a ballot, I can only imagine what's going on behind the scenes, and behind the media propaganda, in Iraq itself.

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