Monday, December 12, 2005

Iraqis preparing for election

Borders will be closed and curfews extended to help keep areas secure, but the media continues to spin polls to try to get Americans to demand withdrawal.

The president's remarks about the progress in Iraq were bolstered by the opinions of Iraqis, who say their confidence in local police and army forces and the government is rising, according to a poll conducted for ABC News, Time magazine, the BBC and other news organizations. Seventy-six percent expressed confidence that this week's election will produce a stable government, according to the survey conducted by Oxford Research International Oct. 8-Nov. 22.

Still, two-thirds of Iraqis oppose the U.S. presence in their country about 45 percent say the U.S. should ``leave now'' or after the Dec. 15 vote, according to poll data released by ABC. The rest say the U.S.-led coalition should stay until security is restored or Iraqi forces can take on the job.

I'm trying to figure out exactly how those numbers mean anyhting at all.

After today's speech, Dubya fielded some questions and mentioned a total number of Iraqis killed. I can't wait to see how the left misconstrues this...

About 30,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the U.S.-led invasion and the ``continuing violence'' from insurgents, Bush said in response to another question.

"Continuing violence." Come on, Dubya. Shoot from the hip, terrorists are killing people in the droves. But CNN has it as the website headline "30,000 Iraqis dead in war." Did we kill them? No, but CNN doesn't care about that.

But for some Iraqis, voting actually starts today...

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Voting begins Monday in hospitals, military camps and even prisons across Iraq, launching the process to choose a new parliament that the United States hopes can help quell the insurgency so U.S. forces can begin heading home.

Iraq's government announced it will close its borders, extend the nighttime curfew and restrict domestic travel starting Tuesday -- two days before the main election day -- to prevent insurgents from disrupting the vote.

"We are very prepared for the elections, and we are highly determined," Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said. "We hope that everyone participates and that it will be a safe day. ... We are at a historic juncture."

Voters will be choosing their first fully constitutional parliament since the 2003 collapse of Saddam Hussein. The 275-member assembly, which will serve for four years, will then choose a new government that U.S. officials hope can win the confidence of the disaffected Sunni Arab minority -- the foundation of the insurgency.

Godspeed Iraqis! Go vote as soon as you can!