Jan. Elections Remain Misunderstood in U.S., Tenuous in Iraq

Dahr Jamail in Baghdad contributed to this piece.

Asked last week if Sunni participation was needed to make Iraq’s national elections “free and fair,” President Bush told reporters that he was “confident [that] when people realize that there’s a chance to vote on a President, they will participate.”

Bush’s statement constitutes a significant misrepresentation of Iraq’s upcoming election, albeit one likely believed by millions of Americans. In truth, Iraqis will not be voting for a president or any other executive.

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Fallujah Refugees Tell of Life and Death in the Kill Zone

Baghdad — Men now seeking refuge in the Baghdad area are telling horrific stories of indiscriminate killings by US forces during the peak of fighting last month in the largely annihilated city of Fallujah.

In an interview with The NewStandard, Burhan Fasa’a, an Iraqi journalist who works for the popular Lebanese satellite TV station, LBC, said he witnessed US crimes up close. Burhan Fasa’a, who was in Fallujah for nine days during the most intense combat, said Americans grew easily frustrated with Iraqis who could not speak English.

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International weapons conventions in Iran, Iraq

A word on differing standards of accountability to international agreements.

In hundreds of articles over the past few weeks, our press has tirelessly reported on Iran’s uranium enrichment program, or rather—in characteristic shorthand—on “Iran’s efforts to develop the capability to make nuclear weapons” (Foreign Affairs, 11/24). Early on the morning of the November 29th, however, in “Iran Backs Away From a Demand on A-Bomb Fuel,” the New York Times announced that a settlement between Iran and Britain, France, and Germany (EU-3) had been reached: Iranians had agreed to suspend all research on uranium enrichment. One hopes that with this agreement, daily scrutiny of hypothetical Iranian weapons might also give way to some observations of actual American weapons being deployed nearby.

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