"Every Vote is More Precious than Gold"

From Chrenkoff’s Good News from Iraq describing election preparations:

“The white bed sheet, punctured and strung between a tree and a utility pole, carries just a few words of hand-painted Arabic script. ‘Every vote is more precious than gold,’ it says – common words in a normal election campaign. But White House political guru Karl Rove would abandon his TV ad budget for the power in this banner and thousands more like it. It’s not just words but a fatwa, a decree, from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, spiritual leader of Iraq’s majority Shiite Muslims. Vote, it says, or you have shirked your religious duty.” Then there is this ad on Iraqi TV: “[It] declares January 30th is Iraq’s ‘date with fate and duty.’ It shows masked gunmen confronting an elderly man in an alley. He stands firm and is joined by others who eventually outnumber the militants. As the Iraqi national anthem swells in the background, the ad proclaims, ‘We are not afraid. We are not alone. Our power is in our unity’.”

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