Monday, January 31, 2005

# Posted 11:30 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THIS IS A LOT BETTER THAN THE BBC: I just started reading the English-language reports on Al Jazeera. I was definitely surprised to read this:

Mishan al-Jibury, a Sunni candidate from Mosul, said lower turnout in the Sunni areas was due to lack of security and functioning polling stations as well as calls for a boycott from Sunni groups hostile to the US military presence...

"I can honestly say that this has been in general a fair and landmark dress rehearsal for democracy," he said.

Speaking to Aljazeera from the northern city of Mosul, Mustafa Ibrahim, an independent Iraqi journalist, said the turnout in Mosul had been fair despite some problems.

"There was a fair attendance compared to the expectations of many in the city.

"In general, the election held in Mosul was a surprise to all as the number of voters was more than expected when considering the daily messages and posters threatening voters with death if they went to polling stations," Ibrahim added.

Of course, such reports are balanced by more negative ones like this:
[Iraqi journalist Ziyad]Al-Samarrai reported that political beliefs, rather than security factors, were the reasons behind Iraqis' boycott of the elections.

Most citizens interviewed by the journalist said the elections reflected nothing but the will of the United States and was for its own interests.
Not bad. Not bad at all. If this is what well-informed citizens in the Arab world are reading, they must just figure out what's actually going on.
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