An article in The Guardian declares Iraq the 51st state through a rant comparing America to Iraq. To prove a point, the author hideously oversimplifies and exaggerates – any person with an iota of common sense would appreciate that Iraq and America are just slightly different. That said, he does bring up some good complaints about our country such as the disenfranchisement of D.C. voters, the election of 2000, and the inequity of the death penalty.
In Iraq’s last presidential election, Saddam Hussein received 100% of the votes, a fact we know because officials said so. Instead, the Iraqis can expect a choice between two different American electoral models, either (a) the one employed in Florida in 2000, designed to ensure that the candidate with the most support loses, or (b) the modern version, as applied in more advanced states, where people vote on touch-screen computers. No one has yet got 100% of the votes by this method but Republican senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska did get 83%. We know this because the company that built the machines – which he part-owns – said so.
To compare these American problems to the dictatorial and brutal rule of Saddam Hussein – even tongue-in-cheek – is going just a bit too far in the name of America bashing. The author should be careful lest we rename their muffins “Liberty Muffins.”