January 30, 2005


Iraqis vote today, and, of course, the NYT has a glowing article on how well things are going. Like the Afghani elections that, to my knowledge, didn't really do much of anything, what's important here is not, as the article suggests, how many eligible voters turn out and how much violence occurs; this election is only worthwhile to the extent that it actually helps calm things down there -- to the extent that, a decade from now, it is looked upon as the first election of a legitimate Iraqi democracy. Personally, I remain skeptical.

There's also this piece, which briefly discusses women's attitudes towards the election. It's kind of hard to see the point of this article, since it basically amounts to 'Some women are going to vote independently of their husbands and religious leaders; some are not.' Gee, thanks for the profound insight, New York Times! This quotation caught my eye:

Muhammad Abboud, a journalist, speaking of his wife in a response that was revealing in itself, said: "Basically, I've given her full freedom on whom to follow politically. I don't oppose any political attitude."

Oh, how nice of you! You've given your wife permission to think for herself! You're so much better than the guy Echidne points out:

Al-Yawer was among the first to cast his ballot, voting alongside his wife at election headquarters in the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad. As poll workers watched, he marked two ballots and dropped them into boxes, and then walked away with an Iraqi flag given to him by a poll worker.

''I'm very proud and happy this morning,'' al-Yawer told reporters. ''I congratulate all the Iraqi people and call them to vote for Iraq.''

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