About to be Shocked Off the Bandwagon

The Grand Iraqi Election Which Proves the Emperor is Always Right has passed in a putrid fog of press adulation and fawning-ness, plus some ‘Ohmigod, what if he was right?!’ spineless sniveling among some liberals we won’t link to here.

But, as is usual with anything the Boy Emperor does, reality is about to rudely intrude on his carefully constructed pyramid scheme, because « the initial voter turnout numbers appear to be way off », and « the election results aren’t going the Empire’s way »:

‘Partial results from Sunday’s election suggest that U.S.-backed Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s coalition is being roundly defeated by a list with the backing of Iraq’s senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, diminishing Allawi’s chances of retaining his post in the next government. Sharif Ali bin Hussein, head of the Constitutional Monarchy Party, likened the vote outcome to a “Sistani tsunami” that would shake the nation. “Americans are in for a shock,” he said, adding that one day they would realize, “We’ve got 150,000 troops here protecting a country that’s extremely friendly to Iran, and training their troops.”’

SF Chronicle

RUHROH! How’d that happen?! I thought the spreading of democracy in the Middle East was the goal, not the spreading of Iranian Islamic Fundamentalism!

Sad, so very sad, that « the Emperor’s cheerleaders in the Imperial press can’t handle the truth »:

‘Like many of his U.S. press colleagues, New York Times foreign policy columnist Thomas L. Friedman has pronounced himself “unreservedly happy” about the Iraqi election of Jan. 30, adding: “you should be, too.” But there is a dark potential to those pleasing images of Iraqis voting in the face of violence. Rather than pointing toward an exit for the United States from Iraq, the election may be just another mirage leading U.S. troops deeper into Iraq’s long and bloody history of sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites. Indeed, if the Sunni-based insurgency doesn’t give up in the months ahead, American soldiers could find themselves enmeshed in a long and brutal civil war helping the Shiite majority crush the resistance of the Sunni minority.

The Sunnis, who have long dominated Iraq, find themselves in a tight corner and may see little choice but to fight on. … As Iraqis raised fingers stained with voting ink, American journalists scrambled over each other to climb on board George W. Bush’s bandwagon. Just as the U.S. press corps feared challenging Bush during the WMD hysteria in fall 2002 or after the toppled Saddam Hussein statue in spring 2003, the press corps treated the Iraqi election as an unquestioned success story, much as Friedman did in his New York Times column, which was entitled “A Day to Remember.” [NYT, Feb. 3, 2005]

‘But, like those earlier examples of press acquiescence, the lack of skepticism about the real meaning of the Jan. 30 election carries more potential dangers for Americans, especially if the triumphal Bush administration now starts dusting off its most ambitious plans for the Middle East. If that happens, the military disaster in Iraq — already with the deaths of more than 1,400 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis — could be just a prelude to more catastrophes to come.’

Consortium News

But he’s just a Saddam-loving malcontent, right?

Well, one should cut him some slack, perhaps; after all, « the track record of the press isn’t great »:

‘U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote: Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3—United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam’s presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here.’

[As seen at « Daily Kos »]

Our world. Such higgledy-piggledy-ness. Now where’d I put that blasted quote? Something about those who forget history are condemned to repeat it or something … should be around here somewhere …