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Elections Reflections

"Fear is the dark room where negatives are developed." A dark mood of fear has pervaded the United States since September 11, 2001. President George W. Bush has cleverly manipulated these fears for his political advantage. Even Democrats nominated a pro-war candidate, because they were afraid that an anti-war candidate would not be able to beat Bush. Yet the Iraq War is one of the most illegal and immoral wars in the history of the USA.

Karl Rove and his Republican machine were so afraid of losing the White House that they used more dirty tricks and unfair election practices than even Richard Nixon could have imagined. Now the Johns, Kerry and Edward, are too afraid of challenging the status quo to even question the massive unfairness and likely fraud in the Ohio voting, which if investigated thoroughly could eventually result in their winning the election!

The major media in the United States are afraid to report on these abuses except as marginalized "conspiracy theories" because of the uncertainty and chaos that could result. Only Keith Olbermann on MSNBC has had the courage to make some reports, but on December 27 he had Howard Fineman whitewash the abuses by referring to trivial issues such as not keeping the polls open long enough instead of mentioning any of the serious problems.

The blatant unequal treatment of having fewer voting machines in African-American precincts that resulted in minorities and liberal students waiting for hours, the devious policy of not counting provisional ballots from another precinct while urging voters to use them that way, the use of computerized voting machines without any paper or other verification, the ownership of these machines by Republicans who promised to deliver the Ohio vote for Bush, the supervision of the election process by a Republican committed to re-electing Bush, and many other issues cry out for more investigation, judicial redress, and perhaps even a re-vote, as they recently did in the Ukraine. How ironic that people in the Ukraine and a few years ago in Milosevic's Yugoslavia were able to challenge successfully fraudulent elections, while citizens of the United States seem to be allowing George Bush to steal a presidential election again!

Why are the results of the exit polls not being released? Statisticians found that in ten of eleven swing states Kerry did about five or six percentage points better in the exit polls than in the official tabulations. In the other state, Wisconsin, the exit polls were exactly correct to the nearest tenth of a percent. I remember hearing on election night a Republican spokesperson warning that if the Kerry campaign challenged the results in Ohio that they would challenge in Wisconsin. Is this a coincidence, that the only swing state the Republicans apparently did not fix, is the one they wanted to have scrutinized?

Recently four suspicious cases of "suicide" have been reported of persons who were investigating crimes of the Bush family. Why are these not being investigated and reported by the major media?

I have a suggestion for those voting in Iraq next month. They should vote for those candidates who will promise to demand that all foreign military forces leave Iraq as soon as possible. George W. Bush has said that he would respect such a request from the Iraqi government, just as he has said that the oil in Iraq belongs to the Iraqi people. He should be held to these promises.

Or, will the Sunni-Shi'a conflict be instigated into a civil war so that the elected government feels they have to keep foreign forces in the country to defend their government from the insurgents. If the latter, then Iraq will become a quagmire like Vietnam, where the United States blocked elections from occurring as promised in the 1954 Geneva Accords to reunify the country. The United States blocked those elections because they feared the party of Ho Chi Minh would win, and the Vietnam would be reunified, as it was twenty years later.

The United States also used covert operations to overthrow elected governments it did not like in Iran in 1953, in Guatemala in 1954, in Chile in 1973, and to intimidate those voting in elections in El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s. USA officials even abducted democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from Haiti on February 29, 2004.

When are people going to realize that killing people with military force is not the way to make them become democratic? Or that using force in another country is a blatant violation of self-determination? Is not democracy self-government and the opposite of what is imposed by another nation? Can you force someone to be free by threatening to kill them?

How can Christians vote for George W. Bush when his policies of killing in retaliation and helping the wealthy are directly opposite to what Jesus taught? Let us learn how to love our enemies and do good to those in need. Let us practice the way of love which is nonviolent by courageously standing up to those who try to abuse us. Let us promote democracy by practicing it at home first while letting others practice their own democracy.

Copyright © 2004 by Sanderson Beck

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