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Just your average joe, with an unhealthy obsession with politics and news.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

A Look At Iraq Nov 28 2004

A LAST LOOK at the Battle of Fallujah
2Slick'Forum in his Nov 27 posting has provided a wonderful letter from a West Point Grad just fresh from the battle of Fallujah. This e-mail from this officer is a good reminder of the heroics of our soldiers as well as the very real threat that was eliminated in Fallujah. The e-mail is quite good in giving an overall view of what was going on in Fallujah on a day by day basis. Also it has some tidbits that haven't been reported widely.
"In that first day of fighting, the Marines took 5 x KIA and many more wounded, but they also did their job very well. Along the way, they found HUGE caches of weapons, suicide vests, and many foreign fighters. They also found unbelievable amounts of drugs, mostly heroin, speed, and cocaine. It turns out, the enemy drugged themselves up to give them the "courage" and stupidity to stay and fight."

BBC Footage- For the best and compelling TV piece with a embed reporter go here and click on the right side of the page the video link entitled Inside Fallujah Paul Wood's Account of the Assault .The embed was excellent and show the honor of our men and what they were up against. I don't say these often but good job BBC (Tip of the hat to rantburg.com

ELECTIONS
One of the reasons the Battle for Fallujah was the nescessity of having the area participate in the elections. DaggerJag Blog has an interesting viewpoint on the election in Iraq up close and personal in his November 26th post.. This blogger is a military lawyer helping the Iraqis prepare for the elections. Dagger states that on Jan 30 the process of how an individual votes and the process that it is counted by will have similiarties to the U.S. elections but there are significant differences. Because of time constraints the election will have some inherent problems that are not easy to remedy, he states: "...the UN and the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) decided to make all of Iraq a single electoral district. This means that, unlike ach state is guaranteed representation in Congress based on population, there is no guarantee that each of the Iraqi provinces will have representation. The ballot is the same in Basra (far south) as it is in Mosul (far north) and the Iraqis will have a choice of at least 156 political "entities." How will the winner of elections be determined then. Dagger gives this example: "the number of seats each party gets is based on a "threshhold" number of votes. If, for instance, all of the estimated 15 million eligible voters cast ballots, then the threshhold number is 54,454 votes (15 million dividied by the 275 seats in the National Assembly). If a party garners that many votes then the first candidate on their list wins a seat in the National Assembly. Confusing...I know. Dagger informs in this post that the equitablity of this system is a problem but this is a result of Iraq not having a valid census for the different regions and thus possible electoral districts for the assembly. But as Dagger say the purpose of this Assembly is to draft a new Constitution which will be voted on by referendum in the fall of 2005 ,and that this assembly will only seat for one year. Then the new assembly will be voted in under the new procedures. Will the elections go off in time . Dagger states: " I've seen a lot of statements and rumors that the elections will have to be delayed but from the ground level it seems to me like there's still a good chance that they will go off on time. It's likely going to be a messy affair but so long as they are viewed as legitimate elections and all of the disparate factions and sects participate then I really think they will be a success and will be seen as the first stepping stone to a legitimate Iraqi democracy. Only time will tell."
An Iraqi and also a budding politician has some interesting observations in his November 28 posting at Iraq The Model regarding the Iraqi elections and some of the motives of some political parties to delay the election, Be sure to read his whole post, because he makes some interesting observation of the French Diplomatic corp and what may be drawn from that. He states " Some of these parties cannot think beyond their partisan interests and it seems they want things to calm down in the so-called Sunni triangle so that more Sunnis participate in the elections. This seems like a reasonable demand, but the problem is that they do not seek that as much as they seek to strengthen their own individual and partisan positions. I know it's just an assumption and I should not accuse them without a solid proof, but I know these people and they're not too stupid to notice that the terrorists dream is to delay the elections as much as possible if they can't prevent it. f Check the whole article out its a good read.

IRAQI HERO"S
Often the press never seems to have havee the chance to talk about the peple of Iraq that are hero's and fighting for their country. Wonder why that is? I guess the Peterson trial, theendless debate on the basketball fight, and the Michael Jackson case are too time consuming. Well the San Francisco Chronicle has run a story about one today to their credit Meet Sister Beninia Hermes Shoukwana. She heads up a Catholic School and has been leading that school before the days of Saddam. Her courage resisting the forces of oppresion under saddam to the terrorist of today is inspiring. She not leaving either and she is encouraging Christians to stay as well. The excellent article states in part(hit excerpt fo link to full article) Sixteen of her charges, mostly Christians, recently left the country. Every day desperate parents visit her office, telling her they are frightened and are thinking of abandoning Iraq. She urges them to stay. "I try to explain to them that wherever they go, they'll always be immigrants," she says. "Iraq is like our house. It's our duty to try to clean up our house." Also of interest is 2 bloggers ,one Christian, the other Muslim, both attended thiss school and know her. Go to Live from Dallas blog and look at this posting. Bagdad Dweller has another great perspective of her interactions with her at this posting.

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November 29, 2005 at 11:40 AM  

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