During Iraq's recent history, population census were held on years ending with 7, such as 1947, 1957, 1977, 1987 and 1997. It is not unexpected that the call for census should come this year: 2007. The first referendum on Iraq's constitution was held in October 2005. Since there was no recent census at the time, the participation list was used en lieu of census data for allocating seats in the following election, this was probably a shrewd calculation to skew future election results in favor of pro U.S. parties. We suggest that such political calculations may have been tenable at the time of the referendum but not at the present; Iraq is faced with massive ID fraud and huge number of refugees in need of aid and documentation for mobility, and the danger of regional instability from refugee spill off is real. A UN census will stop the fraud, help distribute aid and provide mobility to the refugees and will reduce the likelihood of illegal infiltration across countries of the region. A division-neutral census means that choice questions such as : Is your ethnicity Arabic or Kurdish? and are you Sh'ia or Sunni? should allow complete alternative choices, including "Both" and "Neither".
The parliamentary elections of December, 2005 skimmed over allegations of fraud and coercion and created a situation of blissful ignorance; it allowed the claim of a successful process yet those who committed fraud and coercion got away with a mere slap on the wrist. We are not claiming that the election results would have been radically different if the claims were thoroughly investigated. we are claiming that the process of democracy was the real victim; democracy as a self-correcting mechanism suffers a setback whenever fraud and coercion don't get removed, a strong and direct temporary U.N. supervision should leave no doubt regarding the integrity of the process. In our humble opinion such U.N. involvement would speed up the withdrawal of U.S. troops and is hard to be refused by most parties in Iraq. Our message to the UN: We are asking for basic human rights for the Iraqi people; the availability of credible ID documentation and free and fair elections. We believe the world community will show responsibility towards the Iraqi people. Our message to the current U.S. administration: The present U.S. position on census in Iraq is clear: to postpone the census until security is achieved, but we believe the realities which lead to this position have changed; security is not achievable without accurate identity system. and there is obvious need to assure fairness and transparency in future elections, accentuated by the intra sectarian violence (Shi'a-Shi'a strife). The direct oversight of the U.N. will meet such needs. Our message to the U.S. democratic Party contenders: There is much talk about military withdrawal from Iraq but none about political withdrawal, and there is much skepticism in Iraq about the true intentions of the U.S. Without a policy of political withdrawal, a policy of military withdrawal is meaningless, Iraqi skepticism is confirmed and violence has more reason to continue. We ask you to consider the proposals in our petition when deciding your withdrawal policy.
We hope you see the sense in our petition and the potential for peace from ensuing action, if you do then please join us by signing. Thank you.