How Honest and Open will the Elections
be in Iraq?
By Alain Dumere, Freelance Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq - While the Us and Western Allies are playing
up the notion of free and democratic elections taking place in
Iraq, independent analysts are pondering the validity of the process
In a poll taken recently, the US's main ally
and hope, Iyad Allawi was voted the most hated man in Iraq;
(President Bush was voted the most hated in the world.) Yet
to listen to the "experts" in the Green Zone Allwai
is a "shoe in" to be elected.A poll by the International
Republican Institute, showed that almost 60 percent of Iraqis
say Allawi, a Shiite, has been effective since taking office.The
release of this survey now after being conducted, based on
1,903 interviews from Nov. 24 to Dec. 5 seems to smell like
US propaganda machine oiling the wheels for a Allawi Victory.
The stake for Bush in Allawi being elected
is probably even greater than than the need for the elections
to be seen to be as fair and as neutral as possible.Bush
yesterday promised to".. have the troop levels necessary
to complete the mission. And that mission is to enable Iraq
to defend herself from terrorists, homegrown or terrorists
that come in from outside of the country.''He talked about
U.S. continued involvement over the next year.
It is in Bush's interest to have Allawi elected
because he’s the only politician in all of the parties,
apart from a Kurdish party, that would have the US to stay
in Iraq.Everyone else want America out of Iraq and they’ve
So how according to the cynics is the US going to manufacture a
Allawi win when he is so reviled in his home country?
Well, say the cynics all the major “observers” of
the Iraqi election are to be positioned in Jordan Then, it
seems that the votes will be counted in Jordan.Who they are
to be counted by is not yet known. Also allowing the Iraqi
Expats to vote when they have had little contact with their
home country seems will benefit the Status Quo and help Allwai.
Thus, Allawi is the American’s man.
More Pre Election Violence in Iraq
Northeast of the capital in Baquba, an Iraqi
police lieutenant was killed and three others wounded in
a suicide car bombing Thursday outside the Diyala provincial
governor's office, authorities said.
With a large Sunni Muslim population, Diyala
is believed to be the only Iraqi province in which religious
leaders have given Sunnis dispensation to vote.The minority
Sunnis dominated under Saddam's rule but fear the election
will benefit the majority Shiites.
In Babil province, one U.S. Marine was killed
and four others wounded Thursday, the coalition press office
said. The death brought the U.S. death toll in the war to
1,420, according to the U.S. milita
British soldiers 'ordered to give Iraqis
a good kicking'
Wednesday January 26, 2005 British soldiers
accused of abusing and assaulting Iraqi prisoners at an aid
camp in southern Iraq were told to give their detainees "a
good kicking", a court heard today.
Former Sergeant Major Richard Jackson allegedly
told the soldiers that it was policy at Camp Bread Basket
near Basra to punish Iraqi thieves.
Mr Jackson, who has since left the army, allegedly
took another soldier's rifle and took potshots at Iraqi thieves
hiding in sand dunes outside the camp in a "reckless
and negligent" act, the court also heard.
Mr Jackson denied both charges.
CAMEROON: Clinical trial of anti-HIV drug
on sex workers in question
YAOUNDE, 27 Jan 2005 (IRIN) -
The Cameroon Health minister has said he may stop the clinical
trial of an anti-AIDS drug being tested on local sex workers
in the city of Douala following allegations that the women
are receiving inadequate counselling and medical care. Urbain
Olanguena Awono warned that he would put a stop to the clinical
trial of Tenofovir if the criticisms of it were true.
" This is a very important study because
it aims to find out whether a drug that has already proved
effective for treatment can also be used to prevent HIV infection," he
said on Monday.
The drug being trialled is Tenofovir, which is made by the US company
Gilead, and is sold under the brand name Viread.
The drug is being tested as a possible prophylactic
to prevent people becoming infected with the HIV virus.
AIDS activists in France have alleged that
the women volunteers taking part in the clinical trial in
Douala have not been sufficiently informed of the risks involved.They
have accused Gilead and its agents who are conducting the
clinical trial in Cameroon, of failing to guarantee free
healthcare to the sex workers if they become infected during
the course of the trial.
Cameroon is popular with scientists as a testing
ground for anti-AIDS drugs because every known sub-type of
the HIV virus is found in the country.
UN Regional Information Africa