Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Pre-emptying the election day 

"Violence Escalates As Iraq Election Nears," says Keloland TV.

"Violence is increasing in Iraq as next week's election approaches," writes the "Arizona Daily Star".

Not quite.
"The deputy director of operations in Iraq for the US military, Air Force Brigadier General Erv Lessel... confirmed that a dramatic 50 per cent reduction in terrorist activity had been seen over recent days."
Everyone - the Iraqis, the media, the Coalition forces - are expecting a dramatic surge of violence on the election day, as the insurgents and terrorists put all their resources in a concerted effort to derail the poll. But that hasn't happened yet, so let's wait until Sunday with all the "escalations of violence." Lessel himself says:
"We think it's a calm before the storm, and that they are unable to sustain the level of attacks they've had, but that they're saving up for something more spectacular in the coming days."
And as the report continues:
"Security experts say that despite a handful of high-profile attacks, such as Monday's bombing of Dr Allawi's Baghdad party offices, the situation has been relatively calm across the country.

"But they stress that intensive military and counter-terror operations have been under way, and say many intended insurgent strikes have been thwarted.

"US military teams have been active to the north of Baghdad and in the northern city of Mosul, where a large house-to-house operation is being conducted, as well as at the Syrian border town of Tell Afar, a known base for insurgent infiltrators."
It's premature to say (to borrow from Churchill) that this is the end, or the beginning of the end, but let's hope that at least it's the end of the beginning.


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