Iraqi Voters in Dark on Election Eve

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – Insurgents sabotaged power lines
Friday, plunging the capital into darkness and cutting off water supplies
on the eve of a landmark vote on a constitution that would define democracy
in Iraq.

The charter – hammered out after months of bitter negotiations – is supported
by a Shiite-Kurdish majority but has split Sunni Arab ranks after last-minute
amendments designed to win support among the disaffected minority.

Amid security concerns, Iraqis were hunkered down for most of the day in
their homes, with the streets of the Iraqi capital almost empty hours before
a 10 p.m. curfew and the country sealed off from the outside world as borders
and airports were closed for Saturday’s referendum.

So let us see if we have the picture correct. The people
we liberated, the opressed Iraqis we are introducing to democracy, and
who we expect to vote tomorrow, are sitting in the dark, no running water,
pretty much in the same situation as the deluded fools who tried to ride
out the hurricane in New Orleans, except that for these families the
streets outside are full of heavily armed teenagers in US military uniforms
with automatic
hairtrigger nerves wired on brand new designer CNS stimulants and good
old adreneline. The borders are closed, the schools are closed, the businesses
are closed, there is a curfew in the city.

And we expect them to vote in what we are calling an
authentic democratic process? And we expect them to approve of the process
we are imposing on an unwilling and alien nation? And this is the grand
election we are pinning our hope on? This is the first step on the road
to an independent and open Iraq?

Once we finally root out the terrorists, kill all of
the foreign fighters, subdue the unruly militias and overcome resistence
to a peaceful, Democratic Iraq, will there be any Iraqis left alive to
enjoy the results?

from the
Associated Press

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