The Big Pharaoh
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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Iraq's Campaign Ads

I remember last year I asked my readers about how to download the ads of the US elections. I said that I just love to watch political ads. A reader in the comments column wrote "I can't believe you like those ads, they pollute our TV channels".

Now I know why this reader said so. The TV channels I watch on satellite, whether Iraqi or non-Iraqi, are now "polluted" with the Iraq's elections ads!! However, I still love to see those ads. In fact I downloaded some of them from here.

As far as I know, the ads are divided into 3 groups: ads educating Iraqis about the elections, ads encouraging them to vote, and ads from Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's own campaign. I think Allawi is extensively using both Iraqi and non-Iraqi satellite channels to reach Iraqis voters outside Iraq who are more secular and might prefer his list than Sistani's. Also, those channels are widely viewed in Iraq as well. Ahmad Chalabi who is on Sistani's list complained that Iyad Allawi is using Iraq's channels as publicity pundits because of his position in the government.

I especially love the ads that encourage Iraqis to vote. They are very emotional. Tears filled my eyes when I saw one of them. The ad opens to an old Iraqi man walking between ruined buildings. He looks like a university dean or professor. Then a group of young men wearing ski masks and carrying guns appear from behind a building and block his path. The old man looks at them. Then a young lady (probably his daughter) comes up and stands behind the man while clutching to his arm. Then multitudes of people appear and line up behind the man in a act of defiance. The young men wearing the ski masks turn their eyes to the ground and run away. The screen cuts showing someone pulling down a poster threatening Iraqis who will vote.


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