Is the question Alive in Baghdad asks in a video roundup of public opinion, Correspondents Nabeel Kamal and Ali Al-Leâ€™abiy interview Iraqi's on the streets of Baghdad. AiB writes:
Our sampling was done in a short timeframe and by no means represents a statistically accurate cross-section of the Iraqi public. However, we do feel that you will hear an array of different opinions, and begin to gain a little insight into how the Iraqi public views the American government and electorate, more than five and years after the invasion.
As Nibras Kazimi says, “Perhaps no other country in the world sees itself as directly affected by Tuesdayâ€™s outcome as much as Iraq… If any case could be made that non-Americans should be allowed to vote for either Obama or McCain, then Iraqis would get the first go.” So who would Iraqi bloggers vote for? There is a very wide range of opinions to choose from. Nibras himself gives his whole-hearted support to McCain. He writes:
History can be made on someone elseâ€™s time, not when thereâ€™s a crises afoot; Iraqis need to be vigilant and practical in their choice… Who will be a better president for them? Who will help them defeat the terrorists, curb Iran and stabilize the region?The clear answer is McCain.
Another Iraqi living in the US, Iraqi Mojo would have supported McCain but was put off by the choice of vice president:
I like McCain. I appreciate his efforts to help Iraq defend itself against terrorists. He has criticized the Bush administration's blunders in Iraq. But when it came time to choose a running mate, McCain chose poorly, in my opinion. I found her comments about “real” America to be strange – they reminded me of Arabs who cling to “real” Iraqis. Palin mocked community organizers and implied they don't have actual responsibilities.
Neurotic Wife, an Iraqi who worked in the Green Zone, is not impressed with the argument that American troops need to remain to keep Iraq secure. She writes about a conversation with her husband and discloses a hint of bitterness towards the current Iraqi government:
Looks like Obama will win, he said. What do you think Neurotica? Wow, I was actually impressed he asked my opinion, for in the past few days he has been pretty sick and not really conversive. I wish Obama wins, I typed. I wish he wins and withdraws all the troops by end of the year. HUBBY was shocked at my answer. How come Neurotica? If the US leaves there will be chaos and Iran will jump in. We cant let that happen.I Lolâ€™ed so much, for Iran is ALREADY in. The government of Iraq is nothing but Iranâ€™s puppet. â€œNeighbouring countries should respect the sovereignty of Iraqâ€ is ALL BS. I really really want the troops to leave, and Im serious…
I want chaos to break. YES. I DO. This is the only solution. The only solution to the current Iraqi govt. They are useless, and will continue to be so because even though they say they want the forces to leave, they know it wont happen, and so every night when they go to bed, they're confident that a soft cushion awaits their empty heads. They depend on the forces. I get really angry when I talk about this subject. I get really upset, that such a rich, resourceful country has ended up in such filthy hands. Filthy, corrupt and no loyalty. No loyalty to the earth they are walking on. I want them to suffer…
Yes, Obama, please win. Win and withdraw the troops. Personally I believe the US is wasting its time. Its time, money and effort. Try and save the fallen economy instead with the money you will be wasting on Iraq. Iraq has enough money. Iraq is rich. Unfortunately the wealth is going into Ammar al Hakeemâ€™s pockets, and his repulsive likes. Do you know that he bought properties here in the Emirates worth millions of dollars? No you donâ€™t know that fact. He spends millions while the children of Iraq die of starvation, cholera, typhoid, abuse, rape and torture. WELL DONE Ammar!!! Lets see what happens to you when the forces leave? I want to see you torn apart, exactly the same way a lion preys on his victim. Is what Im saying vicious? I really hope so.
I'm sure all of you saw this ignorant American woman rallying for McCain saying she doesn't trust Obama and that she has “read about him and found out he's an Arab.” At first, I thought she said “he's an error” which is why I accepted McCain saying, “No, Madam. He's a decent family manâ€¦” But when I realized she meant an “Arab” and connected it to what McCain said, I felt very offended. It appeared as if he was saying, “No, Madam. He's is decent, not Arab.” I wonder if he said that deliberately to convey that Arabs are not decent and that since Obama is not an Arab, he's decent!In all cases, I'm not surprised that this came from a McCain supporter and from McCain himself. I wonder what would the Arab Americans feel when they heard this ignorant woman. What would they think when they see the country they built along with their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist and Hindu countrymen intolerant like this.
Hammorabi puts his outrage more bluntly:
this indicates the hatreds and racial discriminatory attitude that JM [John McCain] harbors toward the others especially Arabs and Muslims.If JM is going to be the next US president he will never be able to remove the stigma of being racially discriminating against the Arabs neither any one Muslim including the American Muslims will forget for him such nauseating comments. He will be nothing but a failure. In fact whether he is elected or not the American Muslims and American Arabs should lawsuit him for his racial insult against them.
Given the obvious embarrassment Barak Obama has shown about his middle name, Hussein, I wonder how the Republicans will take Nibras Kazimi's compliments when he compares John McCain to that great Muslim leader:
â€˜Husseinâ€™ is a popular name in the Muslim world, in both the Sunni and Shia components of it, because it was the name of the Prophet Muhammadâ€™s grandson. There are only two male bloodlines that go back to Muhammad, through the brothers Hassan and Hussein… But Hussein is made more unique because he led a desperate rebellion against a dynasty that had usurped the leadership of Islam. Hussein was led to believe that he enjoyed overwhelming support in the battleground state of Kufa, and he barnstormed his way over there only to find that his get-out-the-vote machine was busted, while that of his enemies had managed to raise an army of several thousand…Hussein found himself on the plains of Karbala surrounded by a rebel band of a few dozen kinsmen and womenfolk, the mavericks of Islam. All around them were the fluttering banners and ranks of the enemy, thousands and thousands of them, hemming in the rebels from the riverside of the Euphrates…
I will spare you the details of the epic battle… The last man standing was old Hussein. He had just watched his cousins, his brothers, and his sons get cut down one after the other… The story ends with Hussein making his last stand, and the rest is history…
John McCain though, fights in the same spirit as Imam Hussein. Faced with incredible odds, he marches on towards battle. Thereâ€™s honor in his cause, and that keeps him strong, unwavering.
And I guess thatâ€™s also where I draw my own strength and commitment in this bleak final stretch.
â€œEvery day is Election Day. Every land is a battleground state.â€
Hereâ€™s to fighting the good fight!