Iraqi election chicanery

So much for "free and fair" elections in Iraq this time around.

For a fairly well written report by the New Yorker on both US and Iranian chicanery in the last Iraqi election (go here).

While I could not find anything on the internet about it, CNN is reporting that a "truckload" of counterfeit Iraqi election ballots were intercepted as attempts were made to smuggle them across the border from Iran.

It would not surprise me if "our side" is not also up to shenanigans this time as well. I am not going to condemn "our side" too loudly for joining in however. I certainly wish "free and fair" elections could be held, but I do not think it would be "fair" if only one side is allowed to cheat! Apparently the Iranians are not above cheating this time around. My understanding is that the Iraqi ballots are pretty sophisticated, so if the counterfeit ballots are of a good enough quality to pass scrutiny they were not printed up in someone's garage.

I wonder just how effective the "impartial" election monitors are going to be and if they are going to have the courage to speak up if the elections are tainted? Or is the motivation going to be to approve even tainted election results because they are better then nothing, and better then starting over again from scratch?

I am not expecting perfection, as even here in America there are claims of election fraud in the last US election cycle, however I would hope there could be established some confidence that the results are close to reflecting the will of the Iraqi people.

A "truckload" of counterfeit ballots being intercepted does not lead towards the desired confidence.


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