Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Iraq the Model Election Coverage

Pajamas Media and Iraq the Model will be hosting extensive coverage of the parliamentary elections in Iraq. Eight correspondents based in eight different Iraqi provinces will be submitting several waves of election updates and photos exclusive to Pajamas Media. The correspondents' names will be hidden and only initials will be used for reasons concerning their personal safety. Journalists and reporters in Iraq had been targeted by the terrorists many times. Stay tuned!


Blogger Yolo Cowboy said...

They can go to Hell, or France.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iraq war emboldens our enemies

I am very concerned that our leaders, particularly President Bush, do not seem to recognize or understand the true nature of the war they have led us into in Iraq. Under the tyrant Saddam Hussein, the country had a basically secular government. The unfortunate reality is that we are now engaged in a war with the Muslim religion that is worldwide in scope, and Iraq currently is only the most active and publicized theater of that war. Anyone with any knowledge at all of history and religious wars knows that war that has its origins in religion, with the primary goal being the total domination of a particular religion, is usually endless and has no rational resolution.

Our political leaders, and most media commentators, restrict their pronouncements and analysis to an increasingly unbelievable and uninformed justification for this war, which, in their view, is supposed to result in the installation of a free and democratic system in Iraq once we have "won," which in this case can only have one realistic result, and that is to enable and empower our most vicious and uncompromising enemies, the Islamic fundamentalists, to dominate and control Iraq and the entire Middle East from India to Israel.

It is not clear to me how this obvious inevitability benefits our nation or our world, nor is it clear to me how we can expect freedom and democracy to flourish, or even exist, in an area that is dominated and controlled by a few brutal and autocratic religious zealots answerable only to their all-powerful and unyielding philosophy of religious fanaticism.

We must recognize that Islamic fundamentalism is a much greater threat to us than the Nazis and the communists ever were. This threat is made even greater because we classify these barbaric primitives as a religion, thus providing them all the legal protection given to religion under our Constitution.

To be quite frank, we have only ourselves to blame for this looming catastrophe, for we elected the arrogant and ignorant leaders whose appalling lack of knowledge and rational judgment got us into this fraudulent and losing misadventure that has the potential to do vastly more social, political and economic damage to our nation and the world than Vietnam ever did.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Updated: 01:08 PM EST
Bombs, Protests as Iraq Election Mood Sours
Violence Erupts Again as Sunnis, Secular Parties Dispute Poll Results

By Alastair Macdonald, Reuters

BAGHDAD (Dec. 25) - Bombs struck Iraqi police and army patrols and destroyed an American tank in Baghdad on Sunday as fresh street protests over election results kept up tension that has soured the mood after a peaceful ballot 10 days ago.

Filippo Monteforte, AFP/Getty Images
US soldiers of the 1st battalion 327th infantry regiment check the spot where a bomb blew up on the outskirts of Hawijah.

More Coverage: U.S. Won't Handover Prisons to Iraq

Talk About It: Post Thoughts

In the violent northern city of Mosul, the killing of a Sunni Arab student leader abducted after heading a demonstration against the election results prompted accusations by mourners at his funeral against militias loyal to the victorious Shi'ite Islamists and their Kurdish allies in the interim government.

President Jalal Talabani, meeting the U.S. ambassador who is mediating in efforts to transform the newly inclusive parliament into a viable government, urged Sunni leaders to join a new, broader coalition. Otherwise there would be no peace, he warned.

Disappointed Sunni and secular parties have demanded a rerun of the December 15 election and threatened to boycott parliament, a move that could damage U.S. hopes of forging a consensus that can keep Iraq from breaking up in ethnic and sectarian warfare.

But despite militant rhetoric, seemingly aimed at increasing their leverage, Sunnis are negotiating with others to build a governing coalition on the basis of the existing poll results.

Meeting U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in his Kurdish power base of Sulaimaniya, Talabani said: "Without the Sunni parties there will be no consensus government ... without consensus government there will be no unity, there will be no peace."


After a lull during the election, secured partly by fierce security measures and partly by an informal ceasefire by Sunni rebels hoping for representation in parliament, deadly attacks have picked up. Ten Iraqi soldiers were killed in one assault on Friday as were 10 worshippers at a Shi'ite mosque.

A U.S. soldier was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack near Kirkuk on Saturday and troops marking Christmas had no respite on Sunday; an Abrams tank, the giant bulwark of American armored might, was left in flames after a dawn attack in eastern Baghdad -- witness said a roadside bomb blasted it.

A U.S. military spokesman confirmed an attack on a tank but had no details of its cause or of any casualties.

Two car bombs, parked by the roadside, went off around lunchtime, wounding three Iraqi soldiers and a civilian in the city center and three policemen in eastern Baghdad, police said.

Two soldiers were killed and six wounded in a mortar attack on an Iraqi base at Mahmudiya, just south of the capital.

In Kirkuk, where Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen are vying for control of the northern oilfields, a civilian was killed and seven wounded when a car bomb went off close to a police patrol.

Further north, in Mosul, Iraq's third city where ethnic tensions between Arabs and Kurds are also high, a roadside bomb killed a policeman when it detonated close to his patrol.

Anger flared round Mosul's university campus, one of Iraq's most distinguished, after the bullet-riddled body of the head of the student union was found on Sunday.

The body, found with the victim's hands bound behind his back, also bore marks of strangling, a hospital source said.

Gunmen had grabbed Qusay Salahaddin from his home on Thursday, two days after he had led a demonstration against the election results, and bundled him into the trunk of a car before driving off, said Mohammed Jassim, a friend of the victim.

From there, Salahaddin used his mobile phone to call for help, Jassim said, accusing Kurdish peshmerga militia: "Save me, the peshmerga have kidnapped me," Jassim quoted Salahaddin, a Sunni Arab, as saying before the line went dead.

Among some 2,000 fellow students gathered at a mosque where the body was taken, accusations quickly flew against another favored target of Sunni Arab complaint, militia forces loyal to one of the main Islamist parties in the Shi'ite Alliance bloc.

No group claimed responsibility for the killing.


Mosul -- one of two cities named by U.S. President George W. Bush before the election as a model of progress in Iraq -- has been at the forefront of complaints of voter fraud this year.

Provisional national results of the December 15 election show the Shi'ite Alliance bloc should come close to retaining its slim majority in the new legislature, despite a big turnout by Sunni Arabs who boycotted a poll in January.

That has sparked protests in recent days in Baghdad and elsewhere by Sunni and secular parties, despite assurances from U.N. and other officials that irregularities under investigation affect only an insignificant proportion of the ballot.

About 1,000 marched on Sunday in Baquba northeast of Baghdad and, in the subdued former rebel stronghold of Falluja to the west, some 2,000 people joined a demonstration that also expressed anger at a government fuel price hike last week.

City council leader Kamal al-Nazal complained of fraud in an election the once dominant Sunni minority had taken part in for the first time with high hopes, only to see them disappointed: "We went to a wedding," he said. "And it turned into a funeral."

Additional reporting by Nabil Nourredine in Mosul, Aref Mohammed in Kirkuk, Fadil al-Badrani in Falluja, Cyrille Cartier in Sulaimaniya and Aseel Kami in Baghdad

12:53 PM  

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