Sunday marks start of shady, risky elections for Iraqi voters

Aman Ali's view

After hearing the metaphors Bush used during his inauguration speech, I came to the conclusion that the United States was planning on taking its butter knife of foreign policy and spreading the cream cheese of freedom across the toasted poppy seed bagel we call Iraq.

This Sunday, Iraqis will have a legitimate election for the first time. I’m all about change in Iraq as soon as possible, but this bearded kid has his doubts.

First, enough about “the Sunni boycott.” Someone had the nerve to ask me, “You’re Sunni, does that mean you don’t believe in voting?” Yeah, because Prophet Muhammad taught us to be peaceful, respect others and screw elections.

The Sunnis in Iraq, or whatever label you want to slap on them, don’t want to vote in this election for the same reason anybody wouldn’t want to: Because they don’t want to walk out of the polling booth with limbs blown off. I wouldn’t vote either if it meant I’d be going home from the polls with one less leg than I came in with.

Pundits are boasting about how elections will take place safely in 14 out of 18 of the Iraqi provinces. Sounds great on paper until The New York Times reported the four provinces where it is unsafe make up almost 50 percent of the country’s population.

Granted, the election must take place because delaying it gives in to the terrorists’ agenda. But my doubts lay in the future of Iraq — not the election itself.

This election is different from ours because the Iraqi people will be voting for political parties to form the government rather than individual candidates as we do in the United States. But when guys like Ayad Allawi are expected to lead the country, it doesn’t say much about the country’s future.

Rule of thumb: Never trust a politician whose name rhymes with “wowie zowie.” Ayad Allawi broke political ties with Saddam Hussein in the 1970s and later did freelance work for the CIA and Britain’s MI6, according to Allawi typed a handwritten memo to MI6 published in the London based The Daily Telegraph that said Sept. 11 hijacker Muhammad Atta had trained at a military base in Baghdad. “Wowie Zowie” Allawi continued to say in that memo that Saddam had purchased uranium yellowcake from Nigeria.

Remember that The Daily Telegraph article? The same article that Newsweek writers Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff reported as fraudulent? To make a long story short, Allawi is connected to the U.S. intelligence blunder in attacking Iraq, and now he may be rewarded for his screw up as the next president.

Other guys leading the government are no angels either. Iraq’s current defense minister Hazim Al-Shalan is facing corruption charges. In last Saturday’s The New York Times, fingers pointed at Al-Shalan after $300 million from Iraq’s Central Bank was packed in boxes and mysteriously shipped to Lebanon. Sounds like the plot for Ocean’s Thirteen.

To quote my dad’s response every time I asked him to take me to McDonald’s as a kid: “We’ll see.” We’ll see how this Iraq thing plays out, and if America has enough freedom cream cheese to spread across this bagel.

Aman Ali is a junior information design major, president of the Muslim Students Association and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].