This is topic Bush: Elections in January, absolutely ... Not. in forum General Comments at The Ornery American Forum.

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Posted by Zyne (Member # 117) on :
Like many reality-based individuals, I've been saying and thinking all along that Iraq could not possibly hold free and fair elections in January, 2005. I've tried to count how many times Bush has said they will occur then, but there are too many, I get confused.

But what do I know, from my arm-chair on the bayou.

Now, Iraqis in the know are beginning to agree, and to publicly advocate for an delay of the election.

I am thinking that we ought to grant them that. We have some 100,000 and counting dead Iraqi civilians. I would hate to see many more die trying to exercise the rights we promised them when we invaded.
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :

only 17 out of over 100 political groups are calling for a delay. The delay is being screamed for most by Sunni based political groups. Sunnis represent less than 20% of the Iraqi population, and the political parties that are calling for a delay happen to represent only a fraction of the Sunnis. IE a 1-2% minority made up of a collection of Sunni political groups are calling for the delay and falsely claiming that the government is also now calling for a 6 month delay.

Not only is the government NOT calling for any delay, but it is also telling the Sunni political leaders that they have just over 2 months to reign in the calls for jihad by the religious leaders, and focus instead on political campaigning.

As to the 100,000 dead and counting Iraqis, you will have to provide information that comes even close to supporting that claim. Check on Ornery. The best we could collectively determine was that somewhere between a minnimum of 16,000 identified Iraqis have died since we invaded.
Posted by RickyB (Member # 1464) on :
No, Redskull, it's not just Sunnis. It's also some Shi'ite parties, and the two main Kurdish parties, and even Allawi's own party.

From the NYT:

Some of Iraq's most powerful political groups, including the party led by the interim prime minister, called Friday for a six-month delay in elections scheduled for Jan. 30, citing concerns over security.

The list of groups includes some that have been among the strongest backers of American policy in Iraq, and their call gives sudden momentum to those arguing for a postponement. The two main Kurdish parties supported the delay request, marking the first time the Kurds, closely allied with the Americans, have taken a clear stand on the issue.

I gotta tell you, it's gonna be amusing to watch you switch from forceful denial to partisan defense of the decision to postpone. In a couple of years, after you admit the failure, I expect to read something by you about how us nay-sayers are the ones who screwed it all up.
Posted by The Drake (Member # 2128) on :
I'm not sure what the right choice is, but it does belong to the Iraqis. The fact that Allawi's party has climbed on board is significant. But Sistani was always a powerful force to have early elections, and he hasn't changed his tune. Remember when he was demanding them earlier this year, and the UN told him no?

Panel Rules Elections Delay, Shiite Leaders Threatening

"The date of the elections can no longer be questioned, the issue has been decided," said the spokesman, who is also the son of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Said Al-Hakim.

He said he was speaking in the name of all four leaders of the Marjaiya, which includes the influential Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the highest Shiite authority in Iraq.

Sistani strongly opposes any delay of the vote and repeatedly urged Shiites to make their voice heard.

The Marajiy reportedly threatened to issue a fatwa (religious edict) against supporting the interim government, saying it supported the government after a pledge to organize elections in January.

Now, what about the poll makes it more dangerous than buying groceries or walking to school? The long lines and the political significance. I would strongly recommend filing an absentee ballot, if the option exists. But you also have to ask, will holding the elections reduce the violence overall? I think that it will, and I wonder if the bombings can be reduced without an election.
Posted by RickyB (Member # 1464) on :
Do you really think they will? Why? Do you think those committing the violence will feel represented?
Posted by The Drake (Member # 2128) on :
I believe that some groups will feel represented, certainly. It's hardly a panacea. But at least some of the violence has been related to preventing elections. Blowing up warehouses with registration forms, etc. The resistance groups are fighting to prevent the elections, because they know that the more people who see the government as legitimate, the less legitimate they appear to be.

Now, the elections won't affect the infamous "foreign fighters" desire to fight. They also won't stop the guys trying to get revenge for their families being bombed or shot by the Americans. But if it is something that the resistance is trying to stop from happening, it leads me to conclude that they think it will hurt them.
Posted by ATW (Member # 1690) on :
I wouldn't put much stock in Allawi's own party being against the election. Right now Allawi is running the whole government. After the election, at best Allawi would be running a coalition government. At worst he'd be completely out of the picture.

Their party running the whole government right now is as good as its going to get. Should I be shocked that they'd want to delay the election?

The Kurds are worried that since most of the election violence will probably happen in Kurdish territory in the north, that Kurdish turnout would be suppressed.

I think its more important that this election happen on schedule than that its perfect. The election is already a year overdue from what was discussed pre-invasion. Delay isn't going to gain anything.

The Philippines for example has waves of violence ripple across the country with every election. It might turn out that Iraq exeriences something similar. It might not.

But having an election will delegitimize groups who are in opposition because they think the Iraqi government is a US puppet. And that's whether those groups are political groups or insurgents.

IMO, delaying the elections will increase the violence. Insurgent groups have been saying the elections will never happen and that dangling that prospect in front of the people has been a carrot to pacify them. Delay will let them say, "Aha! See? We were right!"

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