Roger L. Simon

Palming the Ace

Like “good burghers” of the Mainstream Media, the Washington Post buries what is surely the most important story (other than the inaugural) of January 21, 2005–“Most Iraqis Remain Committed to Elections, Poll Finds“–on page thirteen of their newspaper. You can’t even find it on the front page of their website where such “important” matters as “Homeless Man Poses as Student” are linked. You have to do a full search to locate it, but it’s there — although it is more than a little bit understated, because you’d think, when the WaPo’s headline reads “Most Iraqis Remain Committed…” they were talking about fifty-two or three percent of the vote, maybe even sixty, but they’re actually talking about 80%! The actual writer of the article is far less circumspect.

An overwhelming majority of Iraqis continue to say they intend to vote on Jan. 30 even as insurgents [sic] press attacks aimed at rendering the elections a failure, according to a new public opinion survey.

The poll, conducted in late December and early January for the International Republican Institute, found 80 percent of respondents saying they were likely to vote, a rate that has held roughly steady for months.

Well, gag me with a spoon. Maybe Omar and Mohammed were right when they assured the group that had come to meet them at my house that most Iraqis were actually interested in democracy, some of them even grateful that they had been liberated from a homicidal dictator. Maybe the nay-sayers, the various Boxers and Moores, were on the wrong side of history all along, were indeed reactionaries wearing the “false flag” of progressives like wolves in trendy sheep’s clothes. But I don’t want to gloat… especially not now… Victory in this war is a long way off and actually I’m glad the WaPo buried the story on page thirteen. We don’t need to hear about it now. The expectation game is going to be played to a fare-the-well with the Iraqi election and you can bet that if only 70% percent of eligible Iraqis vote, some self-righteous schmuck will take the 80% percent figure and declare the election a disaster, when we all know that it’s been a long time since more than 70% of the population came out to vote in Brooklyn or even Brentwood.

CORRECTION: The link to this article is now on the front page of the WaPo website with the headline: IRAQIS COMMITTED TO ELECTIONS. The “MOST” is gone.

UPDATE: The Belmont Club comments on an article in The Nation that takes a different view of the elections.