Thursday, December 30, 2004

Iraqi poll workers resign en masse

Three militant groups warned Iraqis against voting in Jan. 30 elections, saying Thursday that people participating in the "dirty farce" risked attack. All 700 employees of the electoral commission in Mosul reportedly resigned after being threatened.

The warning came a day after insurgents in Mosul, which has seen increased violence in recent weeks, launched a highly coordinated assault on a U.S. military outpost. The United States said 25 insurgents were believed slain and one American soldier was killed in the battle, which involved strafing runs by U.S. warplanes.

The United States, which has said the vote must go forward, has repeatedly sought to portray recent attacks that have killed dozens of people as the acts of a reeling insurgency, not the work of a force that is gathering strength.

The radical Ansar al-Sunnah Army and two other insurgent groups issued a statement Thursday warning that democracy was un-Islamic. Democracy could lead to passing un-Islamic laws, such as permitting homosexual marriage, if the majority or people agreed to it, the statement said.

Two observations:

(1) Stories like this bring into stark relief the absurdity of trying to hold an election under these circumstances, and make clear that the insistence on the current timetable is about the interests of the US, not of Iraq.

(2) They know they can not say it out loud (yet), but the Bush cabal obviously shares the Islamic fundamentalist hostility to democracy, and at least some of the reasons for it.


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