Sure thing, just ask Robert Fisk (warning, that’s a pay link. I bet you’ll think of something…), the last journalist not cowering in his hotel room in Baghdad…
The media boys and girls will be expected to play along with this. ‘Transition of power,’ says the hourly logo on CNN’s live coverage of the election, though the poll is for a parliament to write a constitution and the men who will form a majority within it will have no power.
They have no control over their oil, no authority over the streets of Baghdad, let alone the rest of the country, no workable army or loyal police force. Their power is that of the American military and its 150,000 soldiers whom we could see at the main Baghdad intersections yesterday.
The big television networks have been given a list of five polling stations where they will be ‘allowed’ to film. Close inspection of the list shows that four of the five are in Shia Muslim areas where the polling will probably be high and one in an upmarket Sunni area where it will be moderate. Every working class Sunni polling station will be out of bounds to the press. I wonder if the television lads will tell us that today when they show voters ‘flocking’ to the polls.
But, hey, man, if this is the signal we need for Washington to fire the starter pistol for the race to withdraw, then by all means… ON YOUR MARKS….