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Thread: Did the Sunni's vote?

  1. #1
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    [url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,146107,00.html]http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,146107,00.html[/url]

    [quote][b]Sunni Clerics Call Iraqi Elections Illegitimate
    Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    BAGHDAD, Iraq Iraq's leading Sunni Muslim clerics said Wednesday the country's landmark elections lacked legitimacy because large numbers of Sunnis did not participate in the balloting due to the insurgency and a call by religious leaders for a boycott.

    Emboldened by the elections, which U.S. and Iraqi authorities cited as a victory for democracy, the police chief in Mosul demanded the insurgents hand over weapons within two weeks or he would "wipe out" anyone giving them shelter.

    Large numbers of majority Shiite Muslims and Kurds participated in Sunday's election for a new National Assembly and regional parliaments. Although no results or turnout figures have been released, U.S. officials say participation appeared much lower in Sunni areas where the insurgency is strongest.

    In its first statement since the balloting, the Association of Muslim Scholars (search) said the vote lacked legitimacy because of low Sunni participation blamed variously on the clerics' own boycott call and on fear of insurgent reprisals against those who voted. The association months ago urged Sunnis to shun the polls because of the presence of U.S. and other foreign troops, and insurgents threatened to kill anyone who voted.

    Iraqi officials have acknowledged voting problems, including a ballot shortage in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, which have substantial Sunni populations and which also may have contributed to a low Sunni turnout.


    With many Sunnis having stayed away, a ticket endorsed by the Shiite clergy is expected to gain the biggest number of seats in the 275-member National Assembly, followed by the Kurds and a list headed by interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi (search), a secular Shiite.

    Shiites comprise an estimated 60 percent of Iraq's 26 million people, and Shiite candidates were expected to fare best regardless of Sunni turnout. However, low Sunni participation was believed to have reduced the totals of other tickets.

    Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim (search), the Shiite Muslim who heads the ticket expected to have won the largest number of parliamentary seats, indicated in a Wednesday interview with The Associated Press that his group wants the post of prime minister in Iraq's new government.

    Al-Hakim, a Shiite cleric with close ties to Iran, said representatives of all Iraqi groups should participate in writing the new constitution.

    In its statement, the association said the election "lacks legitimacy because a large portion of these people who represent many spectra have boycotted it." As a result, the group said the new leadership lacked a mandate to draft a new constitution and should be considered a temporary administration.

    "We make it clear to the United Nations and the international community that they should not get involved in granting this election legitimacy because such a move will open the gates of evil," the statement said.

    "We are going to respect the choice of those who voted and we will consider the new government if all the parties participating in the political process agree on it as a transitional government with limited powers."

    [b]Official voter turnout figures have yet to be released, but a Western diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity Wednesday said turnout appeared to have been "quite low" in Iraq's vast Anbar province, which includes the rebellious cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.[/b]

    He said that based on anecdotal accounts, turnout in three other provinces with large Sunni Arab populations was slightly higher but not more than 50 percent.

    In Mosul, police Gen. Mohammed Ahmed al-Jubouri offered amnesty to insurgents who handed over their weapons within two weeks but promised tough action if they did not. In an interview with the provincial television station, al-Jubouri threatened "to wipe out any village that would hide weapons after the two-week period and shell any safe haven for the insurgents."

    With the threat of election violence past, the U.S. Army handed over control Wednesday of several combat outposts to Iraqi security forces on the west side of Mosul.

    Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, has been tense since insurgents rose up in November in support of rebels under siege in Fallujah, west of Baghdad. The entire 5,000-member police force deserted before U.S. and Iraqi troops regained control.

    Meanwhile, insurgents blew up an oil pipeline Wednesday near the central city of Samarra, police said. The pipeline serves domestic power stations in Baghdad and Beiji and does not affect exports.

    Four civilians were killed Wednesday in a drive-by shooting in Iskandariyah south of Baghdad, police said. The motive was unclear.

    An Iraqi motorist was shot to death on the main desert highway west of Baghdad on Wednesday. A witness claimed U.S. troops opened fire when the vehicle tried to overtake an American military convoy. U.S. vehicles have often been targeted by car bombers who ram convoys.

    A U.S. Army spokesman said he had no information on the shooting.

    Elsewhere, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday urged the world body to stop using the country's oil revenue to pay compensation to Kuwaiti victims of the 1991 Gulf War and the salaries of U.N. weapons inspectors.

    The payments were mandated under resolutions approved by the U.N. Security Council after a U.S.-led coalition drove Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991.

    "I think it's generally acknowledged that Iraq now does not pose such a threat and does not in its present form have any weapons of mass destruction," Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie said. "And, therefore, to continue to fund a bureaucracy to do what, to just continue to say every day that they have found nothing?"

    [/b][/quote]

    for all the talk we have on this board about iraq, remarkably little of it has focused on the divisions between the Iraqi people and how this could affect any plan for democracy - if the Sunnis disenfranched themselves and the Shi-ites take the majority (both of which seemed to have happen) - could this lead to civil war?

  2. #2
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    Of course it could. That is a possibility.

    However, Section109 has called our elections illegitimate, and we all see how important that is. ;) Hell, some Dems still cling to this fantasy that 2000 and 2004 were "illegitimate." :lol:

    But seriously, does it strike you as bizarre that the clerics are using low turnout as evidence of illegitimacy, when they urged a boycott themsleves? Kind of a Schrodinger's Cat situation, no? Clearly, they considered this election to be illegitimate long before it occurred, and have done everything they can to suppress Sunni turnout, and then have turned around and said, "Of course it's not legit, the Sunnis did what we told them to and didn't vote!"

    Also, the Sunnis have the most to lose, since they were the oppressive minority in Iraq prior to this war.

    Another possibility is if the Shi-ite "respond in kind" to the type of treatment that was handed to them by the Sunnis for all of these years.\

    You are correct, there are still major obstacles ot be overcome.

  3. #3
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    it's just a little too troubling to me that the people who didn't vote and who are going to be screwed in the new gov't are the very same people who live in cities and regions dominated by resistance - Mosul, Fallujah - all Sunni's - heck the "sunni triangle" speaks for itself.

    everyone glosses over these little details like the fact that Sunnis and Shi-ites hate each other and have done so for centuries. Not to mention that the kurds have been everyone's ***** -

    yesterday you and CBNY agreed that the Vietnam vote wasn't analgous because "the whole country couldn't vote" - that was 1 people divided by borders -meanwhile shouldn't Iraq really be 3 seperate countries? and this weekend only 2 of those "countries" voted -

    keep in mind i got this article from Fox news... straight from the horse's mouth

  4. #4
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    Pretty funny...you post an article about Sunni clerics calling the elections illegitimate after yesterday proudly stating these same cleric called for a boycott of these elections...does anyone smell sour grapes on behlaf of the Sunni's? A missed opportunity they helped foster??

  5. #5
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    Come Back that may be true, but my concern is how can we fix this situation going forward? - assigning blame isn't going to solve anything... if we go ahead with the sunni's locked out of gov't and still resisiting that doesn't exactly bode well for the vision of a peaceful and thriving Iraqi democracy, now does it? these people are the key to the whole process and have been the whole time - to say "tough cookies" and move on without them isn't going to solve anything.

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    Even though they largely didn't vote, the Sunnis still hold some power. For instance, they control 4 of Iraq's provinces, and as such do have enough power to block ratification of any constitution that's drawn up (3 of the 4 provinces would have to vote "for" to enable ratification of the constitution).

    Frankly, the Sunnis should be scared ****less. I have no doubt that, once in power, the Shias have plenty of "in kind" ass-kickings planned for the Sunni areas that are largely responsible for the insurgent attacks. Payback is a *****.

  7. #7
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 2 2005, 11:49 AM
    [b] Come Back that may be true, but my concern is how can we fix this situation going forward? - assigning blame isn't going to solve anything... if we go ahead with the sunni's locked out of gov't and still resisiting that doesn't exactly bode well for the vision of a peaceful and thriving Iraqi democracy, now does it? these people are the key to the whole process and have been the whole time - to say "tough cookies" and move on without them isn't going to solve anything. [/b][/quote]
    As is the case with everything- whether it be the fall of communism, colonialism, etc- people who are left out in those areas will eventually see what democracy and freedom can bring and will turn against those oppresing them.

    It's happening slowly China and Iran is close to the brink.

    The problem is the libs and to a certain extent society in general, want it to happen overnight, (albeit with different agenda's in mind).

  8. #8
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 2 2005, 11:49 AM
    [b] Come Back that may be true, but my concern is how can we fix this situation going forward? - assigning blame isn't going to solve anything... if we go ahead with the sunni's locked out of gov't and still resisiting that doesn't exactly bode well for the vision of a peaceful and thriving Iraqi democracy, now does it? these people are the key to the whole process and have been the whole time - to say "tough cookies" and move on without them isn't going to solve anything. [/b][/quote]
    Bitonti, I don't understand how the Sunnis are "locked out." They [i]chose[/i] not to vote.

    Also, regarding the Iraqi-born insurgents, what proportion of them are Sunni? What proportion of them are Shi'ite?

    Sunnis can see what happens and decide for themselves whether or not they want to vote next time around. Deomcracy is a messy thing.

    But your larger point is apt - there are still many obstacles....

  9. #9
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    NPR (a moderate to liberal news agency) interviewed a guy from Iraq (a minister of some sort) who said that the west is more preoccupied with Sunni/Shiite divisions than are most Iraqis.

    This difference is similar in nature to non-Christians voting in the largely Christian US. Although there are differences here between faiths, there hasn't been a faith-based civil war in 200+ years.

    The citizens ARE concerned about some form of representation, however, and the above official suggested that the government's constitution permit some form of "advisory" personnel representing non-majority citizens...to prevent feelings of disenfranchisement.

    Bottom line, though, I think our media is hyping this issue to get ratings.

  10. #10
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by JerryK[/i]@Feb 2 2005, 01:22 PM
    [b] Bottom line, though, I think our media is hyping this issue to get ratings. [/b][/quote]
    JerryK: pleeeze...stop with the anti-media slurs- when has the media ever exagerated or hyped a story just for the purpose of increased ratings! :o

    I don't believe it for a second!! :lol:

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Come Back to NY+Feb 2 2005, 12:33 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Come Back to NY @ Feb 2 2005, 12:33 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-JerryK[/i]@Feb 2 2005, 01:22 PM
    [b] Bottom line, though, I think our media is hyping this issue to get ratings. [/b][/quote]
    JerryK: pleeeze...stop with the anti-media slurs- when has the media ever exagerated or hyped a story just for the purpose of increased ratings&#33; :o

    I don&#39;t believe it for a second&#33;&#33; :lol: [/b][/quote]
    The sunni&#39;s make up 20% of the country. The Shia&#39;s make up 60+%, along with the Kurds (15%), they are looking to kick some sunni ass. Its about time. Let loose the dogs of civil war. The Sunnis will be driven out and the kurds will claim their lands like what was done to them under Saddam.

    F the sunnis. dont complain if you took no part of the election that you were free to participate in.

    -Vilmaniac

  12. #12
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by VilManiac[/i]@Feb 3 2005, 05:56 PM
    [b] Let loose the dogs of civil war. [/b][/quote]
    that could get messy...

  13. #13
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    If the Sunni&#39;s CHOSE to sit out the election cause they knew they weren&#39;t gonna get there way ... and these are the same dewbags who ruled that country with an iron fist for 35 years ... then I view them as the spolid brat who takes his ball and goes home cause he&#39;s not happy with this or that

    And to that I say the same thing I&#39;ve always said to such brats ... GOOD, LEAVE, F U, we&#39;ll get a new ball, now take your ball and take a friggin hike pal

  14. #14
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Feb 2 2005, 11:37 AM
    [b] But seriously, does it strike you as bizarre that the clerics are using low turnout as evidence of illegitimacy, when they urged a boycott themsleves? Kind of a Schrodinger&#39;s Cat situation, no? [/b][/quote]
    before he died, schrodinger said that he &#39;wished he had never met that cat.&#39;

    that&#39;s what some of us fear, that years later, we&#39;ll wish we&#39;d never met this &#39;cat&#39;

  15. #15
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by isired+Feb 3 2005, 11:48 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (isired @ Feb 3 2005, 11:48 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-jets5ever[/i]@Feb 2 2005, 11:37 AM
    [b] But seriously, does it strike you as bizarre that the clerics are using low turnout as evidence of illegitimacy, when they urged a boycott themsleves? Kind of a Schrodinger&#39;s Cat situation, no? [/b][/quote]
    before he died, schrodinger said that he &#39;wished he had never met that cat.&#39;

    that&#39;s what some of us fear, that years later, we&#39;ll wish we&#39;d never met this &#39;cat&#39; [/b][/quote]
    deeep....real deeep.....

  16. #16
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Come Back to NY+Feb 3 2005, 11:57 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Come Back to NY &#064; Feb 3 2005, 11:57 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> [quote]Originally posted by isired@Feb 3 2005, 11:48 PM
    [b] <!--QuoteBegin-jets5ever[/i]@Feb 2 2005, 11:37 AM
    [b] But seriously, does it strike you as bizarre that the clerics are using low turnout as evidence of illegitimacy, when they urged a boycott themsleves? Kind of a Schrodinger&#39;s Cat situation, no? [/b][/quote]
    before he died, schrodinger said that he &#39;wished he had never met that cat.&#39;

    that&#39;s what some of us fear, that years later, we&#39;ll wish we&#39;d never met this &#39;cat&#39; [/b][/quote]
    deeep....real deeep..... [/b][/quote]
    just struck me as funny, izzall... here, is this better:

    "scum hollowhead elitist *****&#33;&#33;"

    now go get back on your soapbox, shawty.

  17. #17
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Green Jets & Ham[/i]@Feb 3 2005, 11:02 PM
    [b] And to that I say the same thing I&#39;ve always said to such brats ... GOOD, LEAVE, F U, we&#39;ll get a new ball, now take your ball and take a friggin hike pal [/b][/quote]
    do you really want to see the US Army try to kick 30% of the country off of their ancestral lands? i sure as heck don&#39;t.

    cmon... we can&#39;t invade a country and then tell 30% of the country if you don&#39;t like it to take a hike... the resistance would be staggering.

  18. #18
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    I stand by my original post....and I don&#39;t see evidence that the Sunnis are going to launch a civil war over this.

    What would they gain? What exactly would they be fighting for? They will try to negotiate (appropriately) for some form of represtentation in the government.

    If that representation materializes, and the government doesn&#39;t repress them, I predict this will be a non-issue.

    Ask any Jew/Muslim/Athiest in the US.

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