Monday, January 10, 2005

Washington and Baghdad are still sticking to plans to hold Iraqi elections at the end of January. In light of increasing attacks and calls for postponing the election, however, interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is getting nervous. Even influential tribal leaders are now yielding to Islamic fundamentalists as open war rages around Baghdad. It was an astonishing figure, even for Iraqis. Last week the head of Iraqi intelligence, Mohammed Shahwani, reported that the Iraqi terrorist and resistance movement numbered 200,000. The figure, according to Shahwani, includes about 40,000 bomb experts and sharpshooters, as well as 160,000 part-time guerillas and supporters who are harboring resistance fighters and terrorists and providing them with logistics services. (New York Times)

There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there may be only one good way out of the deepening disaster that is Iraq: Hold the elections on Jan. 30, declare victory and begin leaving. Anything less, any more "staying the course," and we're likely doomed to an even bloodier and more costly defeat in a country divided along ethnic and religious fault lines and headed toward civil war. (Joseph Galloway via Detroit Free Press)

As the violence increases by the week in Iraq, there is a stronger call to postpone elections scheduled for Jan. 30. But that would be giving in to terrorists, who are determined to drive the "infidels" out of their country and keep it in a state of anarchy. The democratic elections — the first in Iraq in more than a half-century — cannot be delayed for any reason. Nine American soldiers were killed in a single day last week. The mayor of Baghdad province was killed and bombs explode every day with increasing frequency. But if the elections are not held, the terrorists win. (The Enterprise [Boston, Mass.])

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