Election putting stress on insurgents

The normal advantage that insurgents have, ambiguity as to the place and time of attack, is not available for the election. The election pins any anticiapted actions to a specific time period and to specific locations where the election will be held. There are also other targets such as the US emabassy that are being closely watched.

When a rocket hit the embassy compound to day it was tracked on counter battery radar and a drone quickly spotted the seven man team that fired the rocket. The drone followed them to a house where US forces captured them, according to Fox News.

Each polling place is surrounded by three rings of security with US forces taking the outer ring. The insurgents only hope of mounting an attack on the polling place will be with someone wearing a suicide vest or with indirect fire weapons like a mortar or rocket. With the defensive perimeter in place the insurgents will have the same problem the rocket team had that fired at the US embassy. Because they have to attack a specific target at a specific time the couter battery radar can trace their location and drones can follow them to their hide outs.

With the losses in recent weeks of leadership figures and master bomb makers the insurgents stress level will be sorely tested.

Because the insurgents have put so much effort into thwarting democracy, the election will be a bigger defeat for them because every vote cast will be a vote against the insurgents and against Osama bin Laden.

Kurds eager to vote

Jim Muir, BBC:

In a mountain hamlet so small and remote that it does not even have a name, Aisha was drawing water from the outside standpipe which supplies her family of eight and her neighbours in the cluster of mud-brick houses.

The spectacular ranges which crowd the horizon were mantled in snow.

"Of course we'll all be voting in the elections," she said.

"If the weather's good, we'll go by

car. If not, we'll have to walk through the snow. We're doing it for our own good, for the future of the Kurds."

In 10 days of travelling through Iraqi Kurdistan, I did not meet a single person who did not intend to go to the polls in the first Iraqi election since the downfall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The Kurds turned out in their masses to elect their own Kurdistan National Assembly in 1992, demonstrating a huge hunger for democracy and self-expression.

That same eagerness is now focused on winning the biggest possible bloc of seats for Kurdistan in the new Iraqi parliament in Baghdad.


Most Kurds seemed to see voting for the coalition as a national duty.

"It's very, very important, I'm so happy I can vote in this election", said Khanda Hassan, a housewife in the city of Sulaymanieh.

"We can choose our leaders, we can choose our representatives in the government."

"I think it's vital for us to vote, because we have the chance to create a federal Iraq in which we can live and have our rights," added Hoshyar Sinjari, a teacher.


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