Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Violence in Iraq today - the hidden story

The Washington Post reports that 3 Iraqi election workers were brutually gunned down in Baghdad and two huge bombs exploded outside Shi’ite holy areas in Najaf and Karbala, killing at least 64 civilians. Understandably, media coverage will focus on the horrible body count. But note one section in the middle of the article on how Sunni clerics and even al-Sadr’s people (who are now invested in the elections) have reacted (it’s worth excerpting at length):

"I swear to God, even if they burn all the elections centers, we will still go and vote," said Ali Waili, 29, a taxi driver reached by telephone in Karbala. "We have been mistreated for a long time, we have been tortured for a long time."

In the wake of the attacks, leading Shiite figures appealed for calm. The movement of Moqtada Sadr, a young cleric whose Mahdi Army militia has twice led uprisings against U.S. forces, condemned the attack and dismissed the prospect of sectarian strife.

"It is clear that there are some trying to impose conflict and civil war in Iraq," said Ali Yassiri, a top aide to Sadr. "Deceiving Iraqis is difficult. . . . These attacks will result in nothing but insistence on proceeding toward the Iraq of the future."

Ayatollah Mohammed Saeed Hakim, who with Sistani is one of the country’s four most important clerics, called the bombing an attempt to "incite sectarian sedition."

A similar call for restraint was heard at the Ibn Taimiya Sunni mosque in Baghdad, which was struck by at least two mortar rounds at 7 a.m. Four guards were wounded, one of them seriously; windows were shattered and wood paneling was damaged.

Those responsible "must be trying to incite sectarian strife, but this will not happen," said a mosque caretaker, Ali Mashhadani.

Of course, the violence is awful and many things can go wrong before and after the elections. But however the media reports it, the apparent chaos cannot hide the fact that the forces of tyranny and terror are desperate. After January 30, they will not be able to pretend -- even to themselves -- that they have an argument. Once that happens in politics, total defeat is just a matter of time (and arms).

Discussions - 3 Comments

Michael Moore called these terrorists freedom fighters. Jimmy Carter had Moore sitting in his presidential box at the Democratic convention. And who in the party criticized him for it?

This says more about the "Democratic" party than all the vaporings of the pundits, Peggy Noonan and George Will included.

Slightly off topic but something I noticed...I am struck by how commited Iraqis are to voting. Same for the Afgans. Then I read with disgust the accounts of some voters in Ohio and Florida, and their whining about having to stand in line for up to four hours, and in the rain no less, in order to vote. You’d think it was brutal and inhuman torture that these Ohio voters endured. In Iraq you can loose your life by voting. In Ohio you could loose your patients. Some here in America are truely ungratful for the blessings we live in a free and safe country where even the most tedious complaints are given time. Purhaps in 50 years time the Iraqis only complaint will be of having to stand in the heat to vote. That would be progress.

Hi David Frisk,

Whoa! That’s crazy! I didn’t know that about Moore calling them "freedom fighters" (didn’t see Moore’s stupid, stupid film), or him sitting with Carter at the convention.

Can you give me that Moore quote exactly, and the exact source - was it his dumb movie?? I’d love to bring that up to some of my more liberal co-workers at the shop...

Much obliged!


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