Skip to comments.Baghdad Falls Quiet As Zarqawi Threatens Poll
Posted on 12/14/2005 5:33:50 PM PST by blam
Baghdad falls quiet as Zarqawi threatens poll
By Anton La Guardia Diplomatic Editor and Oliver Poole in Baghdad
The terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi vowed to disrupt today's general election in Iraq as a nationwide travel ban was imposed to reduce the threat of car bombings.
A woman holds her inked finger after voting in Tehran in elections for Iraqis living abroad
With Iraqi exiles starting to cast their ballots, including in Zarqawi's home town of Zarqa in Jordan, a statement issued by his branch of al-Qa'eda announced "a blessed conquest to shake up the bastions of non-believers and apostates and to ruin the 'democratic' wedding of heresy and immorality".
There were sporadic shooting and bombing attacks at polling stations yesterday, and several candidates have been killed in recent weeks. But overall the level of violence seemed to have dropped in the run-up to the poll.
Border posts and airports were sealed on Tuesday night, a night-time curfew was extended and cars have been banned from the roads.
Baghdad's congested streets fell unusually quiet yesterday, with the only sound coming from the odd police siren, occasional gunshots or an American helicopter.
In Tahrir Square posters were hung depicting Zarqawi dressed as a blood-red monster with the motto: "He wants to destroy elections, democracy, progress." There are growing signs that Sunni Arabs, who have led the insurgency for more than two years, will vote in unprecedented numbers.
Many appear convinced that the boycott of last year's elections handed power to Shias and Kurds, allowing them to draw up a federal constitution that Sunnis regard as a plan to break up the country.
Some militant Sunni factions, such as the Islamic Army in Iraq, has promised not to target polling stations.
The result may decide whether Iraq plunges into civil war or begins to turn the corner. This, in turn, will affect the ability of America and Britain to begin a controlled withdrawal.
Washington and London are hoping that a new government will be formed within weeks, avoiding the debilitating months of coalition wrangling that followed last January's elections.
Security has been tightened in and around polling stations
They also hope to draw neighbouring countries into the process of stabilising Iraq, perhaps by inviting them to help form a "contact group" along the lines of one that tried for years to end the wars in the former Yugoslavia.
Three men, all of them Shia, are seen as a possible prime minister: Adel Abdel-Mahdi, of the main Shia religious faction, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution (SCIRI); Iyad Allawi, a former London exile who served as Iraq's first interim prime minister last year; and Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the current prime minister and head of the religious Daawa party.
One of the first tasks for the new government, which will rule for four years, will be to agree with US and British officials the procedure for a gradual hand-over of power to Iraqi forces.
There are signs that the Shia coalition that presently dominates Iraq could break up over the issue. SCIRI and Dawa want the US presence to continue for some time but they have now formed alliances with Moqtada al-Sadr, the militant cleric whose followers have fought with US and British troops and who demands the immediate departure of the "occupiers".
Polls open in 2-3 hours. Not counting all the absentee voting that has been going on since Monday.
Premature ejaculation on the part of the Telegraph.
Methinks Zarquawi is full of sh*t if he thinks he can "disrupt" the elections. Kinda like the Monty Python knight...."'tis only a flesh wound"...
Zarqawi needs to lighten up a little.
Hey Zarqawi, have you met Betty yet? I think she would tell you ro go to hell... yes, yes she would.
By this time tomorrow night, the dead enders in Iraq will feel much like our Insurgent Democrats in this country....... LOOOOSERS
If you know when and where they are going to strike, you have a pretty good chance of catching them. How many polls can there be? And he'll have to do it while the voting is going on. Here's hoping that al-Zarqawi will make a mistake.
If I were Iraqi would have them ink my middle finger.
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie.Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
"Zarqawi needs to lighten up a little."
Yeah....chill out Zarkmeister....your are just sooooo immature....
Zarqawi is going straight to Hell. My only prayer is that it's sooner rather than later, and he's sent there by the joint hand of coalition/Iraqi forces. They've both got a score to settle with him, each should be there when he breaths his last.
BTW, are we having a LIVE Iraqi vote thread tonight?
Zarqawhi is a pimple on a pig's penis.
I presume that "wi" stands for asshole.
The Iraqis missed a golden, or should I say purple opportunity. They should have dipped their middle fingers in the purple dye upon voting, blatantly sticking it to the terrorists.
"Not counting all the absentee voting that has been going on since Monday."
That impressed the h#ll out of me. And to think that the MSM covered that? The people in hospitals and nursing homes, etc. taking the time to vote? I mean, you don't EVER hear of that happening here in America. Maybe in 2006/08 the media will cover the counting of the military ballots from overseas? Of those Americans living or traveling elsewhere but still taking the time to vote? (Are there any? Or do Ex-pats not care?)
We need to all step back, take a breath and just ABSORB what the Iraqi people are doing! I mean, how many Freepers could we possibly have here that were around when our country was first forming? Except for Jim Robinson, of course! *WINK*
We are seriously standing on the edge of History! Are you appreciating the gravity of this? Well, I am. But I'm kind of a sap that way. ;)
Hand signals vary from country to country. Maybe they did.
Let's hope so.
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