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January 13, 2005
The Courage Of Iraqi Election Workers

Today's New York Times takes a fair look at the men and women most at risk in Iraq's upcoming elections -- the workers themselves. Christine Hauser paints a portrait of a group literally under fire for trying to bring their dream of self-government to the Iraqi people:

Threatened, attacked, kidnapped and killed, Iraq's election workers are finding that being at the forefront of the electoral process means surviving the frontlines of an insurgency determined to stop it.

Things are so bad that one of the officials from the Independent Electoral Commission, Adil al-Lami, compared the workers to a clandestine political movement. "They function like an underground," he said in an interview.

This particular worker says he does it to serve his country. "There are a lot of people around the world who also would fight for what I do," he said after finishing his day recently at the election commission. "I believe in democracy." ...

For about $200 a month, an excellent wage here, thousands of Iraqi men and women in election offices around the country are organizing voting boxes for polling centers, drawing up leaflets about how to vote, distributing posters promoting the elections, working on designs for ballots and sending out registration forms to prepare for the elections on Jan. 30 to choose a national assembly.

Reading this reminds me of Michael Moore's famous assertion that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his terrorist minions were Iraq's answer to the American Revolution's Minutemen -- a group of freedom fighters against a colonial presence. Moore couldn't be more wrong if he tried. These poll workers have placed themselves on the front lines of democracy against Zarqawi's forces of fascism, armed with ballots and hope to combat the bloodthirsty sadists who behead women with dull knives.

The terrorists recognize their enemy and have begun to focus their fire on election workers. More have disappeared, presumably kidnapped. Zarqawi promised to execute any that fell into his hands as infidels, as his interpretation of Islam makes it incompatible with democracy; likely these workers have already been killed.

Election workers have resigned out of fear or direct threats to their lives, and it's understandable, if regrettable. However, thousands more have remained and want to see the elections move to fruition. They understand that the only way to defeat the Islamofascists that threaten them with a second genocidal darkness is to create a pluralistic and democratic federal government. In that, they are joined by 85% of their fellow Iraqis, who rely on them to help deliver a new day.

The Iraqis have much cause to fear the terrorists in the run-up to the election. However, unlike many in the US, they don't want to cut and run, leaving the country to the Islamofascists while abandoning the majority of Iraqis that want peaceful self-determination. Perhaps some of our own politicians can be inspired to show a bit more courage in defense of democracy.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 13, 2005 6:02 AM

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» Iraqi Election Workers Under Fire from Running Scared
If the people of Iraq can put up their own slate of chosen leaders, there is still a fair chance that the new government will immediately tell the United States to pack up its things and get the hell out. This will, unfortunately, give George W. Bush... [Read More]

Tracked on January 13, 2005 9:43 AM

» Daily Dish from The Cool Blue Blog
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» For God, Country, And Money from JustOneMinute
The NY Times writes about the real Iraqi heroes - the men and women who are risking their lives as election workers:Threatened, attacked, kidnapped and killed, Iraq's election workers are finding that being at the forefront of the electoral process [Read More]

Tracked on January 13, 2005 12:12 PM

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