Well, if President Bush isn’t facing up to reality, neither is the UN, as a top UN elections official has pronounced Iraq on target for January elections:
Carlos Valenzuela, chief United Nations elections adviser here, said in an interview that the list of 13.9 million Iraqi voters, drawn from the country’s food’s distribution program, represented a tentative voter registration roll. It will form the basis of a more complete list of voters scheduled to be compiled when the official registration period begins on Nov. 1.
Mr. Valenzuela and Iraqi election officials said these developments marked significant steps toward holding the elections by Jan. 31, the deadline imposed by the Iraqi interim constitution and endorsed by the Americans.
Mr. Valenzuela said he believed the elections could indeed be held at that time and that although the United Nations team of 14 advisors is small, the large numbers of Iraqis involved in the process were helping the enterprise meet its schedule.
“So far, so good,” said Mr. Valenzuela, who has helped set up elections in such violence-torn places as Liberia, Cambodia and East Timor. “There will be problems. It’s always like this. But it is still possible to do it.”
For all the talk about how Iraq has descended into being a “quagmire”, etc, the situation is far from irrecoverable. Mr. Valenzuela has confirmed that Iraq is ready for elections. Moqtada al-Sadr’s attempt to create a Shi’ite rebellion not only failed, but miserably so. The attacks against Iraqi National Guard troops hasn’t stopped thousands of young men from waiting for hours to enlist to defend their country. The terrorists are being hit back, and they’re being hit back hard. Today’s rumors are that one of Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s close associates was just nabbed near Fallujah. We’re doing what we did with Saddam – slowly peeling out his outer layers of protection and advisors as we narrow down to the man himself. Our network-warfare operations are proving that even the most elusive terrorist leaders can be found and brought to justice.
The situation in Iraq is bloody, but we are now fighting some of the bloodiest terrorists in human history. They’re perfectly willing to use people like Margaret Hassan as human bargaining chips to get us to leave Iraq to the wolves.
They will not succeed. What they did not count on is the will of this country, the will of our allies, and the will of the Iraqi people. Despite all the bombings, young Iraqis are still volunteering to fight for their country. You want to know why I believe that Iraq will be free? Look at those lines of young Iraqi men. They know that they could be attacked at any time, but they’re stil standing in those lines and putting on those uniforms so that they can fight back. Contrary to Michael Moore’s traitorous blovations, the terrorists aren’t the Minutemen – these Iraqis are.
There will be elections in Janary, and a responsible party will win. The people of Iraq aren’t about to trade a quasi-secular Ba’athist tyranny for a theocratic one. They’ve come too far for that. They understand the stakes far more than we give them credit for. The most tyranny many members of the world media have known is not having a lime in their gin and tonics – the Iraqi people have seen their family members brutally murdered, their brides raped by Uday and Qusay, and the bodies of their children being hauled out of mass graves, still clutching the mouldering remains of their toys.
Our choice is to either give up to these monsters or fight them with every ounce of our strength until they have all been blown to Hell. The Iraqi people have largely made their choice – and they are counting on us to join with them. We dare not let them down.