Today’s events in Iraq are in the focus of the world mass media, although little attention would have been paid to the events if the situation in the country was different. And the reason is clear why the attention is so great.
A referendum on election of Saddam Hussein for a second presidential term is held in Iraq today. If it goes as expected (and authorities expect the referendum will be a 100% success), Saddam Hussein will remain on the post for another seven years. But this will be if certainly George Bush allows.
This referendum is the second one held within Saddam’s 30-year ruling; the first was held in 1995, when 99,6% of the population voted for the Iraqi leader. And the result is no surprise at all, as Saddam Hussein was the only candidate to the presidential post. To tell the truth, he still remains.
Certainly, no free will is meant when we speak about the referendum, but Iraqis themselves don’t need it at all. Nowadays, Saddam Hussein enjoys unbelievable popularity among average Iraqi people, as he is a symbol of resistance to the US aggression for them. And although the people hasn’t seen the symbol for several years already, this doesn’t mar his popularity at all.
The referendum is a really very important propaganda action under the present-day conditions. It seems that nobody in Baghdad even hopes to persuade the world community that Iraqi citizens actually express their free will. As we already said, the authorities hope that Hussein will win a 100% support. And the support will likely be guaranteed under any possible conditions. The main reason why it is to be done is to show the whole of the world that Saddam Hussein is a true leader of Iraq, the leader honored by the people. And it doesn’t matter to what extent the love in sincere.
Russia’s agency RIA Novosti informs about some facts confirming this love. Some Hisham Yassir from Baghdad tattooed words in support of Saddam Hussein on his arms: “Long Live Saddam Hussein!” and “Yes to our beloved leader!” on the left arm, and “Ready to Give All My Blood to You!” on the right one.
Another Iraqi citizen didn’t tattoo himself, but taught his parrot named Nasr (Victory) to say: “Yes, yes, yes to Saddam Hussein!” This is the main slogan of the referendum, you can see it everywhere in Iraq. However, this is not the only political success of the parrot: 11 years ago, in the first Gulf War anniversary, Nasr learnt to swear the USA and praise Iraq. Since that times, he cries every day: “Down with America! Long Live Iraq!”
This is the Oriental exotic in effect. So, today is to become the day of love and unity between Saddam Hussein and Iraqi people. But it is very likely that the “love and unity” will last until more US bombs drop on Iraq.