Iraqis Divided Over Elections

The expats who have chosen to vote are delighted. But Iraqis remain very divided over the elections. The New York Times has this updated analysis.

Polls open tomorrow at 7 am Baghdad time, which is 11pm ET Saturday night. Insurgents today promised a bloodbath for Sunday.

"For the last time, we warn that (Sunday) will be bloody for the Christians and Jews and their mercenaries and whoever takes part in the (election) game of America and Allawi," Zarqawi's faction said in a statement posted on an Islamist Web site.

Bush today said we will stay in Iraq after the election.

Under pressure to start bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq after Sunday's election, President Bush said on Saturday that the U.S. mission must keep going to help the new government get its footing.

"As democracy takes hold in Iraq, America's mission there will continue," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "Our military forces, diplomats and civilian personnel will help the newly elected government of Iraq establish security and train Iraqi military police and other forces."

Update: Some Arab human rights activists say the elections set back the cause of democracy.

Arab human rights activists say the Iraqi election is deeply flawed and will give democracy a bad name. They say violence and the prospect of a Sunni Arab boycott will undermine the poll. Many Arabs, already suspicious of U.S. intentions in Iraq, are also dismissing the vote's credibility because of the presence of the 150,000 U.S. troops there.

"The influence of the elections for us as democrats is disastrous," Syrian human rights activist Haytham Manna told Reuters from Paris. "When you marginalize wide sections of society from the political process ... this is not democracy."

"With this example, all the Arab extremists will say to us: 'You democrats, go to hell, because you haven't been able to solve our problems with your democracy and elections'," said Manna, who left Syria in 1978 as a political exile.

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  • Re: Iraqis Divided Over Elections (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 06:29:54 PM EST
    God help the poor guys and lets send bush to watch what is happening.