Patterico's Pontifications


UN to US: “Stop Promoting Democracy!”

Filed under: International — Keypusher @ 4:46 pm

WaPo–U.S. Troops’ Role in Iraqi Elections Criticized

The United Nations’ top elections official, Carina Perelli, sharply criticized U.S. military forces in Iraq Wednesday for distributing material urging Iraqis to vote in the country’s elections Sunday.

Perelli and other U.N. officials are concerned that such U.S. military involvement is compromising efforts to convince the Iraqi public that Iraqis are directing the elections.

Perelli said she and the top U.N. election official in Iraq, Carlos Valenzuela, have been “asking, begging military commanders” to stop the distribution of material promoting the elections. Officials from the U.N.-backed Iraqi Electoral Commission have also asked the United States to stop, she said.

“The U.S. military have been extremely, I would say, overenthusiastic in trying to help out with this election,” she told reporters. “And we have been basically saying that they should try to minimize their participation, because this is an Iraqi process.”

Given the stellar efforts of the UN at…highlighting the stellar efforts of the UN, such meaningless turf wars are not surprising coming from the UN. After all, if the UN can’t adequately provide aid to tsunami victims, oversee elections, inform voters, and basically do its job–then their only option is to bitch and moan at the US for doing the UN’s job and doing it better.

On a more coherent note, does this REALLY call into the question the Iraqi role in the elections? Is the notion that the US has a vested interest in a viable election remotely surprising or even controversial? Unless troops are promoting specific political parties, then they are doing nothing at all objectionable.

US troops have far more contact with Iraqis than do UN officials. And only an idiot/UN official/reporter would think that Iraqis don’t realize that the US wants elections to be viewed as legitimate and accordingly, would try to get people to participate. That’s kind of assumed in the whole reason why we’re over there. As soon as the UN even HAS a get-out-the-vote effort, then we’ll talk. Until then, all the UN will do is talk.

(cross posted to LegalXXX)

5 Responses to “UN to US: “Stop Promoting Democracy!””

  1. How disappointing that, as I write this, trackbacks are at zero.

    The UN’s stand on Iraqi elections reeks. People should know about it. Will the newspapers cover this story adequately, and will TV news get the word out, or will the “gatekeepers” give this story token (meaning minimal) distribution? I’ll be interested to see. Anyone care to predict how the legacy media will handle it??

    L. Barnes (1b54e8)

  2. ‘“Stop Promoting Democracy!”’

    Is this part of the blogosphere ethics blah blah blah, where you put quotes around something they didn’t say?

    The UN is telling the US to not get involved because they’re afraid the US is compromising the election, not because they don’t want it promoted.

    Now, we may all agree the UN is wrong about this, that the US’s promotion is not counter productive.

    Or you may even think its a ruse, and they actually DO want to stop the US. But then you wouldn’t put it into quotes.

    actus (e8ffe9)

  3. Well, I suppose I violated some blogger code of ethics by attributing the ability of speech to an inorganic entity known as the U.N.

    Or you may be reading a bit too far into the use of quotes in this case…

    Christopher Cross (ff83b3)

  4. ‘Or you may be reading a bit too far into the use of quotes in this case…’

    Uh ya. Don’t quotes denote, well, quotes? Or I guess they also can be used as scare “quotes”. But then then you’re mocking the words within them, which isn’t really the meaning I think you want.

    Think: What if the LA times did this?

    actus (e8ffe9)

  5. UN, US, and elections
    Talk about a lame excuse. The UN opposed the Iraq war and campaigned against Bush as much as they thought they could get away with. I don’t think it takes any great imagination to suppose that they might also want the Iraq elections to be a failure -…

    Doc Rampage (28eb22)

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