Commentary: Defeat Out of Victory

By Ken Joseph Jr.

Baghdad, Iraq - While the battle for Fallujah was being fought house by house and building by building another battle was taking place out of the limelight, but with the very real possibility to dismantle all the efforts of the past 18 months in Iraq.

Called the Electoral Assistance Team, the division of United Nations in charge of the elections is quietly doing its thing.

It all looks good and democratic and forward looking on the surface, but the plans for an upcoming January 30 election threaten to dismantle all the progress made in Iraq.

"We do not want any voting by any Iraqis outside the country" said Carlos Valenzuela, Director of the Electoral Assistance Team recently at the Iraq Donors Conference in Tokyo.

"The proportional representation system which we have put together for Iraq will be the easiest to accomplish and will help move Iraq forward." he continued.

When confronted with the question "Will not the proposed system which does not allow for any local representation favor large, organized groups and hand Iraq over to Moslem radicals" Mr. Valenzuela became very defensive saying to me saying "That is up to the Iraqis to decide".

That confrontation brought back to my mind a similar one over a year ago in Baghdad with another UN Representative this time in charge of Human Rights for Iraq.

It was the same anti-American, pro-radical Moslem attitude that I have encountered so many times in my nearly two years in Iraq.

Another example of the group of outsiders involved in all aspects of the postwar arrangements in Iraq doing all they can in a systematic way to turn it, against the will of its leadership as well as people into a radical Moslem state.

The truth of the matter is that the electoral system being put in place in Iraq by the UN is designed to turn the victory that is day by day taking hold in Iraq into a defeat and cause what could not be done voluntarily or on the battlefield - The Islamic Republic of Iraq.

Simply because it sounds complicated and officials were able to fool L. Paul Bremer who in one of his last acts as administrator of Iraq under the Coalition Provisional Authority approved the system by which the election is being planned is very dangerous.

Simply put what it does is instead of giving representation to local areas and representatives it forces a nationwide system or representation.

It would be akin to doing away with all Senators and Representatives in Congress who are elected by state and have them all elected not to represent their areas but just the whole United States.,

275 representatives are being proposed to be chosen based on a nationwide representation with no local responsibility or relationship.

What it does simply is hands power in the country over to whomever has the largest and meanest election machine - the radical Shiite regimes supported by neighboring Iran.

"In many ways it will favor small groups and parties if they can get organized" explained Valenzuela but when pressed for details he became upset.

There it was again, that strong radical, agenda pushing attitude I have seen so often in Baghdad.

In particular for the Assyrian Christians and other minorities in Iraq struggling to preserve their basic rights and freedoms in the land that was once theirs until the Arabs invaded from the south it is an unmitigated disaster.

It will force the Assyrian Christians to join forces with others of completely different beliefs and ideology simply to survive and will take away from them any kind of regional representation which is the only way they can survive as a minority in a seal of Moslems.

Will the United States and the Allies allow Victory to be turned into defeat by the forces of the UN determined to turn Iraq into another radical Moslem state or will the deaths of over 1200 brave young men and women who gave their lives so that Iraq would be free, democratic and have a chance be betrayed.

Ironically in a recent meeting with various Ministers in the Iraqi Government I was shocked to hear their biggest complaint with the US Officials in charge of the Coalition Provisional Authority and now the Embassy, "They force us in the name of diversity to accept radical Moslem elements that we do not want to. It seems at times they are more Moslem than we are" they said.

The Iraqi Governing Council voted that the Iraqi constitution contain no mention of religion or ideology, but article 7 of the constitution says at the insistence of the Americans in charge and against the vote of the Iraqis "Islam is the religion of the state"

I will never forget the the words I have head over and over and over when asking an exhausted soldier "Why are you here"

They always seem to say the same thing "Just doing my job, sir - just want to see the Iraqis have a chance to be free like we are"

On January 30th unless something is done immediately to change the proportional representation electoral system the United Nations will snatch the hard earned victory that is Iraq away from its people and hand it over electorally to the radical Moslems waiting in the wings.

Is it no wonder that the strongest proponents of the election are the radical Moslem clerics in Iraq themselves.

While there is time say "no" to the UN. They were wrong about the war and they are wrong again about the Peace.

The deaths of 1200 brave young men and women demand nothing less.

Rev. Ken Joseph Jr. is writing a book about his experiences in Iraq entitled "I Was Wrong"

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