Fundamentalists of the world unite

Freepers, Fauxers and Bushites, say hello to the Iraqi Shiite Cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. The new ruler of Iraq. Your fundamentalist brethern, of the Muslim brand, thank you for the invasion and occupation that ousted the minority-led, secular dictator state of affairs in Iraq under Tyranic Hussein.

Even though it cost thousands of American lives, and over $200 Billion from the US treasury, all Freepers, Fauxers, and Bushites can be thrilled to their bones in having imperially freed the Muslim Shiite majority from their minority status under the Republican Guard, so that they may now freely reign the Kurdish and Sunni with a theocratic iron rule of fundamentalist law, under your seal of liberating approval.

Take the poll!

Tags: Republicans (all tags)

Comments

30 Comments

Choices, choices -- it's too much
That ballot up there looks just like the Bush ballot we were handed here in our county last November.  So many choices, so little time...
by Bean 2005-01-30 07:12AM | 0 recs
You missed the following choices...
A... whoever the US military says wins.

B... whoever the US military says wins.

C... whoever the US military says wins.

D... all of the above.

by Andrew C White 2005-01-30 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: You missed the following choices...
I didn't know they had Diebolt machines there for this election...
by michael in chicago 2005-01-30 07:48AM | 0 recs
Not Diebold
No Diebold, but there are other similarities.

I was watching Fox News last night, and between Geraldo waving and helicopters and almost crying when 6 women were spotted walking to the polls he proudly reported that lines were beginning to form outside of one polling place in...

...Sadr City

I guess even in Iraq they put less machines in places they don't want people voting.

Tim

by Tim Tagaris 2005-01-30 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: You missed the following choices...
Looks like they gave the contract to Tupperware.

I just saw a picture on CNN's site that showed paper ballots (PAPER FRICKIN BALLOTS - WHAT A RADICAL CONCEPT)(sorry, got carried away there) being stuffed into large tupperware bins.

As a computer techie I think I may have more faith in Iraqi elections then I do our own.

by Andrew C White 2005-01-30 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: You missed the following choices...
Speaking of Diebold, have you heard that they just came out and said that they just discovered a way for their machines to spit out paper voting receipts? What a miracle! Too bad they couldn't figure out how to do that before the '04 elections, eh?
by buckfush 2005-02-04 12:02PM | 0 recs
Sistani Didn't Vote
Here's a funny tidbit from the BBC Reporters' log:
Mohammed Hussein : Najaf : 1533 GMT

There have been several rumours about the participation of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. It is believed he did not vote because he does not currently have Iraqi nationality.

We have contacted his office a short while ago and they confirmed this. But they said Mr Sistani stressed the need for people to take part in the elections.

by tex UnFairWitness 2005-01-30 07:25AM | 0 recs
Tought choice!
Fundamentalist Muslims under Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani would probably govern Iraq more moderately than Fundamentalist Muslims under Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. On the other hand, Fundamentalist Muslims under Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani may be more receptive to Kurdish and Sunni participation than Fundamentalist Muslims under Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

I hope the Iraqis make the right decision.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-01-30 07:29AM | 0 recs
Of course, this means..
Iraq needs MORE US MONEY.....

Hail to the Thief!

by ultraworld 2005-01-30 07:31AM | 0 recs
Out to Lunch
Once again the opposition has only spite, not a vision.

When I was in Iraq I knew that the shiites were going to end up in power. My feeling was and still is that we should curry favor with them by just giving it to them. Until the Iraqis and Muslims in general try Islamic theocracy, they are going to want to try it. Its kinda like Republicans and the welfare state; until they get rid of it they are going to want to get rid of it. Funny thing is, once you get what you want, you won't want it anymore.

That's the beauty of it. A fool who persists in his folly will become wise.

by Paul Goodman 2005-01-30 07:32AM | 0 recs
Let's recognize the reality of the situation...
Instead of resorting to reactionary assumptions about the nature of the Iraqi elections, simply because they were touted by the Bush administration, let's look at the reality of the situation today.

First of all, Ali al-Sistani is NO fundamentalist.  He is quite the moderate, and has striven to reach out to Sunnis and Kurds - unlike the insurgents, who wish to begin a civil war to use genocide to wipe out their opponents - he wants to build a future Iraq free of the racism and hate espoused by al-Zarqawi's ilk.

Iraq today had a choice of over a hundred parties - far from the unrealistic and false presentation that this blog imparts.  A diverse slate of candidates will likely be chosen, meaning that any government will be moderate and reach out to all sectors of Iraqi society.

Today, instead of giving into fear, millions of Iraqis went to the polls to build their country's future.  On National Public Radio, one reporter talked about how many Iraqis had told her that, having voted, "the terrorists can kill us now that we've done our duty."

If that kind of bravery isn't to be commended, I don't know what is.

by cszrom 2005-01-30 07:36AM | 0 recs
Generally true
Sistani is a fundamentalist, but he is patient.

He's running a marathon race that has as its end line the unification of the entire Islamic wolrd, (or most of it) under shiite cultural domination. That may not mean clerical rule, in fact, clerical rule can come and go depending on the situation.

The terrorists are predominantly foriegn.

Iraqis would never bomb their own people as part of a political strategy. They have other plans. First of all, we are carrying the shiites water. Let us count the ways. 1) Knocked off the Taliban. 2) Support Musharraf, 3) Escort them into power in Iraq, 4) Don't do anything about Iran. They couldn't be happier with us!

The only thing they want from us now is to get the hell out of the middle east. It may take one year it may take two. Heck, it could even take three! But these guys are patient. Once we are gone they can do whatever they want. Why would they come out openly and say "we are going to impose Iranian style government"? Why would they? All they need to do is ensconce themselves in the control of teh military and government and the rest is history.

by Paul Goodman 2005-01-30 07:50AM | 0 recs
I agree
I expected the election to be a disaster with several hundred killed and dismal turnout, but according to most press reports around the world, 60% of Iraqis voted despite the insurgent threats to kill any and all who participate.

I still oppose the many reasons why we went into Iraq and the way the Bush administration totally bungled the job, but now that we are there this IS a positive step in the right direction. I applaud the Iraqis for making a stand -- they didn't do it for Bush but for their country.

As much as I think Bush is responsible for 1400 dead Americans and countless thousands of Iraqis for a war over weapons that were never there, I do not wish for our failure in the country, nor the victory of Zarqawi and his insurgency. The Iraqi people have been through 35 years of hell and they deserve a bright future.

I hope Bush succeeds and Iraq is ultimately successful, but I will hold him and the 60 mil Americans who voted for him responsible for any failure.

by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-01-30 10:49PM | 0 recs
Remember al-Sistani is the moderate there
He's one who believes that holy guys like himself should worry about trash pickup and other lowly responsibilities government officials have to deal with.  Wait till Sadr and others take power...then the fireworks will happen.

Yes, todays election is major step towards Kurdish separatism and ultimate regional chaos (with huge international repercussions) involving Turkey (our NATO ally) Syria and Iran, all with substantial Kurdish populations.

But please let's not wave red in front of the Freepers, Fauxers and Bushites and call Saddam a "secular dictator state of affairs".  That allows them to ignore the reality you point out and scream about the celebration of democracy over brutal tyranny.

by KBowe 2005-01-30 07:38AM | 0 recs
All that matters...
I presume you mean he doesn't belive that clerics should get bogged down in day to day rule.

All of these debates on Iraw boil down to one thing for me: getting out. Did Sistani win? Get out. Did Allawi win? Get out. Are insurgents stepping up their attacks? Get out. Are attacks dwindling? Get out. Is oil flowing? Get out. Have insurgents bombed another oil pipe line? Get out. Are the Kurds happy? Get out. Are the Kurds sad? Get out. Will there be a Civil War? Get out. Will there be peace and utopia? Get out.

And the biggest red herrings of them all? Are we winning? Get out. Are we losing? Get out. Should we have gone in the first place? Get out. Were there WMD? Get out. What aboout Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan? Get out.

Whatsoever the observation or the argument about Iraq you wish to make to me: fine, you're right. Let's get out.

by Paul Goodman 2005-01-30 07:57AM | 0 recs
heh...
does that make al-Sistani a FINO?
by johnny longtorso 2005-01-30 09:31AM | 0 recs
A vision
The left generally needs to ask itself what the problems and opportunities are in the world and how they are going to adress them.

For myself, one of the big problems is sustainability. The other problem stability. You see, I am a true conservative. i think the world we fashioned after WWII is a good one and it doesn't need to be messed with. What is that world? It is a world of hope. If you are poor, you won't be ground into dust by poverty and war. What you have to do is work and obey the law. If you do, things will get better. For the most part they have.

Now there are two problems, overpopulation and overconsumption. In theory one could have a market mechanism to correct those problems, ie higher prices. But whenever that happens, the common folk get restless because it means a few things:

  1. Can't pop out children you can't pay for
  2. Cannot assuage your spiritual fears with consumption
  3. Generally have to live a very limited life in the real world and supplant it with phantasmagoria.

The left generally prides itself on being for the poor etc. So when Kerry or Dean or any one else runs for office they inevitably talk about how they are going to pave the way for continued and hopefully increased consumption. That needs to change. The left should stress ecological lifestyles and tutle people in living in the technological future. You aren't doing that if you constantly reinforce the idea that consumption equals success or happiness.

Treat the people like dumb oxen and they will vote that way. Treat them like enlightened beings and the MAY vote that way.

by Paul Goodman 2005-01-30 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: A vision
Consumption? I don't believe I have ever heard anybody on the left talk like that. Consumption is the lynch-pin of supply-side economics, which is a pet theory of many conservatives. Perhaps you could back this statement with some examples?
by claw 2005-01-30 09:10AM | 0 recs
They don't say consumption
they say, jobs, health care, social security and the like. Call it what you will: it's consumption. Americans are in hoc. We rank 103rd in rate of growth according to the CIA factbook. That cannot be sustained fiscally, politcally, militarily, or ecologically.

I'm not going to speak for supply-siders, but I would base economic development on technology; not accounting gimmicks.

by Paul Goodman 2005-01-30 10:12AM | 0 recs
Jumping the gun and blurring 2 issues
Whether Iraq is a theocracy and whether Shiites oppress Sunnis and Kurds are two different issues.

Iraq is 97% Muslim, so any faction(s) in power would define it as an officially Muslim country, and may incorporate elements of Sharia (Islamic religious law) into the legal code.  As long as they don't try to enforce Shiite Muslim practices over conflicting Sunni practices, the existence of religious law may be OK with all of them.

That wouldn't necessarily make it a true theocracy. Will the new Iraqi government become a dictatorship run by the mullahs? Or will it be run by elected lay people who support Muslim values?  Al Sistani might be satisfied with the latter.

Additionally, a government that promotes one religion is not necessarily "fundamentalist." It might support a more moderate, tolerant version.  

So,

  1. It remains to be seen how much -- and what interpretation -- of Sharia makes it into the new constitution and laws.  That's one issue.

  2. It also remains to be seen what rights political minorities and dissidents of any religious stripe will have.  That's the second issue.

  3. It's also unclear whether any government will be able to enforce anything, or whether Iraq will have ongoing civil war and chaos.

I'm more concerned about #3.  While civil war and chaos last, religious and political freedom may be a moot issue.  When stability does come eventually, either religious or political freedoms may be threatened, but it's too soon to say whether it will be either, both or neither.
by Horq 2005-01-30 09:14AM | 0 recs
Democrats?
Grat post, but why is this categorized under Democrats?
by Chris Bowers 2005-01-30 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats?
I have no idea, I switched it to Republican. Isn't interesting how the poll broke? Not the winner, but the A, B, C, D choices. What's wrong with B!
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-01-30 01:00PM | 0 recs
al-Sistani
al Sistani is not a hard-core secularist.  His position is that Iraqi law should be based upon Islamic prinicples, and that status laws (ie, rules concerning the rights of women, etc.) should be determined by the sect to which the individual belongs.  

But it is unlikely that Sistani's slate will win a majority in the parliamentary elections, and that his slate will form a coalition with some of the smaller "religious" parties, resulting in a more "secular" government (and Constitution) than would occur if Sistani's group had majority control.

The Sunni problem is not really that much of a problem at all.  One suspects that when the time is appropriate, the Shiite militias will be able to shut down the Ba'athist insurgency, and signal to al-Zarqawi that his battle had better not be with the Shiite government of Iraq (but don't expect a crackdown by the Shiites against Al Qaeda in Iraq if they concentrate their attacks on the US.)  

The real problem is going to be dealing with the Kurds.  The Kurds will probably be given a deal whereby they have a great deal of political autonomy, but very little economic autonomy---and any attempts by Iraq Kurds to forment problems in Turkey or Iran will be dealt with quite harshly.

Basically, if I was Sistani, I'd sent a message to Negroponte, saying

Here are the conditions for peace with the occupation forces:

  1. complete forgiveness of all debts incurred by Saddam Hussein to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
  2. $100,000,000,000 in reparations from the USA for the destruction it has wrought in Iraq
  3. a complete withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq by the first day of Ramadan in 2005 (Oct. 5)
by p lukasiak 2005-01-30 03:25PM | 0 recs
Huh?
"Shiite militias will be able to shut down the Ba'athist insurgency"

You kid?  The Shi'ite militias are laughable.  While the Sunnis, with the help of al-Qaeda, are conducting a masterful (that IS the word) insurgency, the Shi'ites can't even get some knucklehead kid like Sadr to shut up lojng eough to peacefully assume control of the entire edifice of government.

The Sunni insurgency is being conducted with a level of skill that earmarks just how professionalized and internationalized the entire jihadist movement has become.  The fingerprints of Chechen, Afghan, Bosnian, Algerian, etc. veterans are all over the insurgency.

The Shi'ites on the other hand are just rabble at this stage.  The Iranians never were good at the whole war thing, and they stumble even worse at the whole proxy war thing.

In a toe-to-toe fight, the Sunnis are simply up to the task of keeping the Shi'ites under their feet.

Only an alliance between the Kurds and the Shi'ites could stop the Sunnis.  Since the Kurds have de facto independence, the Shi'ites only have one good offer to put on the table.

Iraq is screwed if the Kurds stop biding their time.  For now, the Kurds are doing their best to honor their long-standing alliance with the US.  If US troops are beyond the fray, the Kurds will become more assertive.

Odds are, Iraq will boil down to a bloody fight for Mosul and Baghdad.

If recent history is any teacher, this will lead to protracted city sieges (Sarajevo, Grozny, Fallujah).  It will be an ugly business that draws parallels to the Bosnian War, with Sunnis reprising the role of the Serbs.

The last thing Iraq needs is a Shi'ite government that makes an aggressive move to assert power over the Sunnis.  The Iraqi Sunnis have been in the business of killing Shi'ites for some time, and they're good at it.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-30 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?
There was an excellent Newsweek article this week describing how the Sunni/al-Qaeda insurgence alliance had come about. Well, they didn't know how exactly it came about, as it previously was full of friction, but last fall, something shifted, making it the force you describe.
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-01-30 05:59PM | 0 recs
Al-Qaeda's trademark
Al-Qaeda's trademark is grafting itself onto indigenous wars.

Look at their relationship with the Taliban.  How they've infiltrated groups in the Phillipines.  How they've slowly become the cornerstone of the resistance in Chechnya.  They had a finger in wars in the Balkans.

They have also networked non-Islamic groups such as the FARC and some extremists from the IRA.

Al-Qaeda has become a clearinghouse of terrorist and insurgent skills.  They help connect disparate groups and ensure each group has the knowledge they need.  If they were a company, you'd invest in al-Qaeda.

Whatever opinion you may have of al-Qaeda's reasoning (personally, I think it's ties to Wahabism make al-Qaeda the most well-armed cult on the planet) there is a level at which you must admire their tactical genius and their ability to pull together unrelated, unwilling participants for their purposes by dangling the offer of irreplacable military know-how.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-31 03:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?
Were the 1st post-apartheid elections in South Africa judged by the percentage of white participation? Of course not, and that is partly the situation with the Sunnis. Those who long for a return of Sunni tyrany will end up on the losing side of history.

This is the most Democratic election in Iraq's history. Knee-jerk opposition to the Bush administration shouldn't keep those that value liberty from acknowledging that.

by SLinVA 2005-01-30 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?
In fairness, the white separatists didn't kill 1,400 US troops or conduct, have organizational help from al-Qaeda's Chechen wing, or conduct a prepared protracted war.

Most white South African supported the end of the apartheid regime.

I doubt most Sunnis are all that giddy about the prospect of a Shi'a government.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-31 03:17AM | 0 recs
How's left field treatin' ya?
If you count as success by the "masterful" sunnis the terroristic killing of innocents and normal people, you need help. Or if provoked by the sunnis, the shiites won't retailiate in kind, meaning indiscriminate slaughter of any sunni regardless of culpability, they will. The funny thing about majorities, they tend to rule.
by Paul Goodman 2005-01-31 11:02AM | 0 recs
Read Sun Tzu
Yes, the word is masterful.

If you don't respect your enemy, you will lose.  It's only a matter of time.  Look at Vietnam.  The assumption during the Vietnam War was that American air power trump Oriental determination.

It didn't.

In fact, strategically and tactically, Giap was the better of Westmoreland.  Giap dictated the field and the nature of battle.  So, Giap was "masterful," and history does record that as the case.

Likewise, the insurgency cobbled together by folks like Zarqawi and Douri is masterful.

And, since war is an act of violence meant to compel others to do our will, success can and does include "terroristic killing of innocents and normal people".  What the fuck do you think Hiroshima and Nagasaki were?!  Sun bathing trips for pale Nips?!  What was Dresden?!

"The funny thing about majorities, they tend to rule."  Sure.  That explains Iraqi history.  That explains the entire Middle East.

The Sunnis have the Will -- in the terrifying Neitchzean sense of the word.  As the minority in their country, they have learned a vicious will to act that the Shi'ites lack.  Therefore, the Sunnis ran the joint.

History is not determined by the majority.  Is is determined by a handful of people who choose to act while others stand there stammering and babbling about how it just can't be happening.

Look at the GOP in the last two elections!

by jcjcjc 2005-01-31 05:21PM | 0 recs

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