04
Mar
10

Iraq decides

Coming up on Saturday’s Newshour — Iraqis go to the polls this Sunday,

in the second national parliamentary elections since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. Clearly security’s improved since the dark days of 2006, and there are growing hopes Iraq may at last be entering a new period of stability.

 But is this progress likely to continue? Recent weeks have seen a sharp rise in violence — and mounting fears of growing Sunni alienation from the largely Shia government.

This Saturday, on Newshour, Dan Damon will be live in Baghdad, presenting extended coverage of everyday life in Iraq. What do Iraqis themselves want from these elections? Do they think their lives have improved? And what do they want the future of their country to be?


22 Responses to “Iraq decides”


  1. 1 nora
    March 4, 2010 at 15:14

    I don’t read tea leaves and cannot guess the twists and turns of politics or religion. Perhaps Lubna can fill us in on the facts on the ground.

  2. 2 T
    March 4, 2010 at 15:58

    I’m trying really hard to not post stuff that we’ve seen and heard a million times already.

    But I don’t see anything changing. The Iraqi people want us to leave, but we wont. After almost ten years, the Iraqi security forces STILL aren’t capable of defending the population. If the U.S. needed ten years to train a security force, the President would sack all the commanders involved. Yet, that doesn’t apply here.

    Why? The U.S. will never leave. It’s apprently in our “national interest” to never let the Iraqis make their own decisions. If you were an Iraqi, how would you feel about this?

    • 3 username
      March 5, 2010 at 14:52

      “Iraqi people want us to leave, but we wont.”

      How presumptous of you to speak for the Iraqi people

  3. March 4, 2010 at 16:10

    Tehran, Washington Must Talk!
    TEHRAN – U.S. Commander Ray Odierno in Iraq has been making disparaging remarks about Iran and speculating on the aftermath of US exodus, but it’s only natural that 14 million Iraqi Shiites should have close ties with Iran.
    Holy Shrines in Karbala, Najaf, Kazemeina and Samera thrive on pilgrims, the majority from Iran. This is a centuries-old tradition. Shouldn’t Washington make a move and talk to Tehran?

  4. March 4, 2010 at 16:50

    Salaam gang (and hello Nora my dear),
    Well, one of the very important developmental milestones for children is that when they start walking without support, and on Sunday (if everything goes well Inshallah) the infantile Iraqi democracy will start walking without support, its first steps may be unsteady, but the light at the end of the dark tunnel is closer that ever now… The fever of the elections is dominating the atmosphere down here and taking over everything else, you can actually sense electricity in the air although there’s a severe shortage of electricity at our houses😀
    What do ordinary Iraqis want ? Everything obviously, but most importantly security, we need to feel safe, we need to stop being afraid, once a stable security situation is achieved all other goals will be pretty much easier to achieve… Also we want to see an improvement in the conditions of basic public sevices (electricity, water, sewage disposal, health care, education, ect., ect., ), we want to provide enormous job opportunities for the vast unemployes poulation in my Iraq, we want to tackle the hateful sectarian tone and achieve national reconsiliation but that doesn’t mean that we should be tolerant to the big heads in Al Baath party, we want sincere and honest MPs whose main concern is the welfare and best interest of my Iraq and its people, we want a powerful and sovereign Iraq that’s totally free from all foreign interferences… I gotta stop now, more later ! :)… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  5. March 4, 2010 at 17:05

    Salaam again gang,
    Now the question is : Will the Sunday’s elections achieve all of those demands that I mentioned earlier ??? Of course not, those elections are just the beginning, the 1st step in a very long road (and yet a very important and crucial step), we should never expect an immediate improvement in the time period following the elections, but we’re hanging in there, and we’re full of hope and optimism regarding the future of our Iraq… One of the most important problems that we gotta tackle with a powerful will is corruption that is unfortunately infiltrating every single aspect of life in my Iraq, also we gotta tackle sectarian democracy and encourage the ”we are all Iraqis” approach… After these elections any excuses from our politicians will be totally unacceptable… That’s right, no more excuses, no more disappointments, we’ve had enough… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  6. 7 Kenneth Ingle
    March 4, 2010 at 18:19

    I wish the Iraqis well in their choice, but if their elections are anything like ours, it is a matter of bad or worse.

  7. 8 JanB
    March 4, 2010 at 18:27

    I wonder which despotic clerics they’ll vote for this time…

  8. 9 Elias
    March 4, 2010 at 18:30

    Let the Iraquis go to the polls and elect whoever they want in government, further let them run their own country as best as they can. The sooner the troops are out of there the better for all concerned.

  9. 10 nora
    March 4, 2010 at 18:45

    Thank you Lubna and best wishes. I was wondering how much of the economy is above the table and how much below. Also, will there be forums for feedback in which the newly elected can get direct regular contact from the voters?

    Are the differences which spark violence really based in Shia v. Sunni or are we not hearing or understanding the other significant issues?

  10. 11 nora
    March 4, 2010 at 19:12

    When I hit the blog early in morning here, I was excited to see that the Iraqi elections were on the table. Now we discuss violent children and society, because the twitter world is into it. Easy to have an emotional, charged discussion about generalities.

    Perhaps tomorrow? I would love to hear from as many diverse Iraqi voices as possible.

  11. 12 JanB
    March 4, 2010 at 19:17

    Until the Iraqi constitution gets rewritten I cannot take Iraq seriously as a democratic nation. No nation that considers Islam its highest tenet (instead of human rights), arbitrarily bans supposedly evil Sunni’s, yet allows the kind of Shia clerics to run for office that support tribal and sectarian violence, can be a true democracy.

    Iraq, like Afghanistan, is a sham, an affront to democracy.

    It is such a shame that after all the lives that were lost, all the destruction, all the aid money, we get just another oppressive Arab country, not a democracy, to show for it. Was it worth it to have all those troops and Iraqi civilians die to give us another Syria or Egypt? I don’t think so.

  12. 13 Jaime Saldarriaga
    March 5, 2010 at 00:10

    Let us wait for Iraq decision.

  13. 14 T
    March 5, 2010 at 11:12

    The fact that they’re having an election isn’t the issue. The problem really is that the West won’t shut up, leave. And allow them to make their own choices.

    Obama and Brown need to realize that the Iraqis don’t want our brand of “democracy.” Yet, we have almost a God-given right to interfere and literally beat our ideas into them. We don’t. Yet, who’s paying the price for this? And who could care less what the public thinks?

    • 15 username
      March 5, 2010 at 14:53

      “Obama and Brown need to realize that the Iraqis don’t want our brand of “democracy.” ”

      Yet again you choose to speak for others. Let’s not hold an election because “T” already knows who the Iraqis want in power

  14. 16 T
    March 5, 2010 at 11:18

    To this day, if you questio this policy, what happens? The rightwind instantly pulls out certain cards:

    We must remain in Iraq to protect the public from the Taliban “terrorists” who attacked us. They DIDN’T attack us. Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11.

    The word Taliban isn’t like Brand Obama being sold. There are various factions.

    Look at all the women and children being able to go to school. What then about the over 1 million civilians who’ve been killed? To this day Blair and Milliband continue to deny reality. And IMO, frankly they could care less about the whol thing.

  15. 17 JanB
    March 5, 2010 at 13:26

    “The fact that they’re having an election isn’t the issue. The problem really is that the West won’t shut up, leave. And allow them to make their own choices.

    Obama and Brown need to realize that the Iraqis don’t want our brand of “democracy.” Yet, we have almost a God-given right to interfere and literally beat our ideas into them. We don’t. Yet, who’s paying the price for this? And who could care less what the public thinks?

    by T”

    What? Have you even payed attention the last 7 years? Iraq has a constitution based on Islam and they have candidates running for office who not so long ago laid IED’s, killing Western soldiers and waged sectarian warfare against their fellow Iraqi’s. They also have lucrative contracts with the Chinese and warm relations with Iran. So they clearly do not have a Western style democracy and clearly the West doesn’t have much of a say in Iraq anymore. Oh and every foreign military except for the United States have already left Iraq while the Americans are already starting to leave (many brigades have come home or redeployed to Afghanistan) and will be gone entirely next year.

  16. 18 Subhash C Mehta
    March 5, 2010 at 14:01

    Iraqis want an environment of peace, order and security; and now, more than ever before, they are confident and determined about achieving that.

  17. 19 Ibrahim in UK
    March 5, 2010 at 15:21

    What happened to the Iraq oil law that gives ownership of Iraq’s oil profits to foreign companies? Is it already in force? Deals have been going ahead already. What do the ordinary Iraqis think about it, and how heavily does it weigh in on the elections (is anyone even mentioning it?)

  18. 20 JanB
    March 5, 2010 at 16:31

    “What happened to the Iraq oil law that gives ownership of Iraq’s oil profits to foreign companies? Is it already in force? Deals have been going ahead already. What do the ordinary Iraqis think about it, and how heavily does it weigh in on the elections (is anyone even mentioning it?)

    Ibrahim in UK”

    Actually Iraq gets a large share of the oil profits, more than a lot of other oil producing nations. The negotiations took so long because Iraq had great difficulty finding companies who were willing to share so much.

  19. March 6, 2010 at 13:22

    All candidates who want to stand should be allowed to do so. That is a key part of democracy.

  20. 22 zainab in Iraq
    March 7, 2010 at 16:14

    salam all WHYSers
    Today, at 10:30 a.m., I went with all my family to vote in the parlimantary election 2010..
    At the beginning i didn’t wanna go, cuz i was Frustrated about the previous elections..but then i thought that I have to go again until something really good will happen to this poor Iraq..
    I still have this optimistic feeling inside me, and it is this feeling that encourages me and all the brave Iraqis to go to vote, though there are some explosions that are heard near our city. but never mind them, if we’ll keep listening to the sound of explosions , we’ll never go outside our house. But we have decided to go outside..

    “Every human being will be happy, only after facing the difficulties in their life…So don’t be afraid to face your difficulties.They will push you forward.”


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