Thursday, February 03, 2005

The All Spin Zone

It never ceases to amaze me how gullible we the public are to pronouncements from our government and how pathetically sycophantic most of the media is around these pronouncements. Right after the polls closed on Jan 30 in Iraq there were public pronouncements that voter turnout was more than 70%. This was then lowered to 60% and comparisons were made to the recent beauty contest held last November in our country. However, when you ask how many voters actually voted, no one seems to have that answer. Moreover, these percentages are of "registered voters". When you ask how many registered voters are there, no one seems to know that number either. The following passage comes from Dawn.

As for Iraqis abroad, the up to 4 million strong exiled community (with perhaps a little over 2 million entitled to vote) produced a 280,000 registration figure. Of those, 265,000 actually voted.

I don't know whether those numbers are true, but if you assume they are, voter turnout was either 95% (of registered voters) or 6% (of the exile community).

Needless to say these turnout numbers are all about spin. In the mean time, January was the third most deadly month for US soldiers in Iraq, and based upon my favorite graph on this issue, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Look, in my heart of hearts I want everything to be OK in Iraq. I want there to be peace. I want there to be democracy. I want our sodiers to come home. But I still believe that the war was wrong even if everything turns out right - which it won't.

Aljazeera also talks a bit about this voter turnout issue.