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Thursday, September 16, 2004

The recent violence in Iraq

There is a very simple reason to explain the recent upsurge of violence in Iraq (and Afghanistan). Elections.

There are three (or possibly four) upcoming elections which the terrorists want to effect/influence/delay.

The first of these is the US election. The Madrid bombing taught the terrorists that they could effect democratic elections. Now, in that instance I believe that they were helped by the Aznar's government's bungled handling of the situation, but regardless the end result was a probably altered election result, brought about by a terror attack.

The second and third of these are the forthcoming elections in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those elections are important for the future of both countries, and if the terrorists are allowed to stall them then it is their victory. The problem with Kerry is that, by now stating he will withdraw US troops, he hands the terrorists victory by default. Moreover, to argue that having elections fail in either country would be of benefit is just about as insane a statement as I can imagine.

Kofi Annan and the UN and various aid agencies bear responsibility here as well. In late August last year the insurgents switched from largely attacking US and UK troops to attacking 'softer' targets. They keep doing so because the moment the UN was scratched it tucked its tail and ran. Lesson learnt: terror works. All those high-minded ideals of the UN Charters of this and that mean diddly-squat when the UN leadership is spineless when the going gets tough.

The fourth possible election is the UK general election - but this is only a possibility given that there is not yet a date set for the next general (at the latest it will be in mid-2006, iirc).

The situation in Iraq is not great, but then, this upsurge in violence was widely predicted. What I am sure of though, is that Kerry, under his most recent statements, would make the situation a great deal worse. In addition, whatever original disagreements there might have been about the involvement between Al-Quaeda and Saddam Hussein there is now no doubt that Al-Quaeda is highly active in the insurgency in Iraq. The War on Terror is being fought in Iraq as surely as it is being fought elsewhere. That is the situation now, in September 2004.

But then, dealing with today's matters is something that Kerry's campaign has difficulty doing.

As an analogy, just imagine what would have happened if the US withdrew from Europe in December 1946. That is where we are at in Iraq. Back then a Democratic President had the moral courage to know what was right to do. These days the Democratic candidate should be ashamed to disgrace the Party of so many great men.

Just my two cents.

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