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William Shawcross launches an attack on so-called democrats who remain AWOL on the upcoming Iraqi elections in today's Guardian (UK). Shawcross goes directly to the heart of the issue -- which side are these people on?
Just look at who is trying to stop Iraqis voting and by what methods. That alone shows how important this week's elections are to Iraq.
The horrific war against the Iraqi people is being run by the same people who oppressed and tortured them for decades - Saddam's henchmen and gaolers. They are more than ably abetted by the Islamofascist jihadists led by Osama bin Laden's Heydrich in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Elections really do matter to people - especially to people who have been denied them. We saw that in 1993 when millions of Cambodians braved threats from the Khmer Rouge. We saw it in Algeria in 1995, when the government, almost overcome by years of Islamist terrorist assault, called elections and the silent majority defied the terrorists' threats and voted en masse.
We saw it much more recently in Afghanistan, where the people confounded the western critics and scoffers and, despite Taliban threats, voted overwhelmingly to put the curse of the Taliban's Islamic extremism behind them.
And we are seeing it most brutally and clearly in Iraq today, where everyone associated with the attempt to give the Iraqi people a decent future risks being murdered.
Will the elections be perfect? Of course not. We don't have perfect elections in the US, but only lunatics and Democrats hold perfection as the standard (and the latter only in states that vote Republican). Shawcross spoke with Carlos Valenzuela, the head of the UN task force on elections in Iraq and a Colombian with plenty of experience with electoral violence. His own country regularly holds elections in the midst of insurgencies and rebel violence, but Valenzuela reminds us that the world considers their elections legitimate. Why do they view the Iraqi elections any differently?
In fact, Shawcross would like an answer to that as well:
It is shocking that so few democratic governments support the Iraqi people. Where are French and German and Spanish protests against the terror being inflicted on voters in Iraq? And it is shocking that around the world there is not wider admiration of, assistance to and moral support (and more) for the Iraqi people. The choice is clear: movement towards democracy in Iraq or a new nihilism akin to fascism - Islamist fascism.
Shawcross details the forces that want to subvert the Iraqi elections and deny self-government to a long-oppressed people. In fact, the main leaders of the so-called insurgency are the same genocidal subtyrants that worked for Saddam Hussein, funded now by their Ba'athist cousins in Syria. They feed off of the fear of their former subjects and inmates, and Western indifference allows that fear to grow like mushrooms in the dark.
The only cure for oppression and fascism are free elections. The only complete victory against terrorists like Zarqawi will be the freely-elected federal government of Iraq taking the reins and exposing the Zarqawis as nothing more than serial killers wrapped up in a long-failed ideology. The failure of some Western democrats to see this shows a fundamental lack of faith in the power of popular rule as opposed to convenient despotism.Sphere It View blog reactions
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