Attempts to disrupt the election continue. They will no doubt continue after the election as well. Attempting to establish democracy in Iraq is a dubious enterprise, as I have long noted; not because the Iraqis are somehow less capable of it than other people, as the President has occasionally charged his opponents on this issue with believing, but because Islam is inherently political, and from its inception has contained a mandate for the governance of states. Modern-day jihad terrorism was not born when the US entered Iraq, or when Khomeini took over in Iran, or when Israel was founded, or when any number of other events took place that are now fashionable to point to as the root cause. In fact, the first modern jihadist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the father of Hamas, Al-Qaeda, and other groups, was founded in the late 1920s as a response to the abolition of the caliphate in Turkey in 1924.
This in itself should be enough to show people that political Islam, which was largely embodied before that in the caliphate (which in turn stretched in all its permutations back to the time of Muhammad), has been a constant of history; it is not a new invention and will not disappear no matter how much the United States changes its policies in Iraq or elsewhere. The ongoing attempts to disrupt the Iraqi elections can only be fully understood in this light.
From AP, :
BAGHDAD, Iraq — An al-Qaida-linked suicide bomber blew up his vehicle Monday near cars waiting to enter the Green Zone, home to the U.S. Embassy and Iraq’s interim government, killing 13 Iraqis on the first anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s capture.
As insurgents continued to step up attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces ahead of next month’s elections, the country’s interim president said Washington was wrong for dismantling Iraq’s security forces, including its 350,000-strong army, after last year’s invasion.
“Definitely dissolving the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior was a big mistake,” Ghazi al-Yawer told British Broadcasting Corp. radio, saying it would have been more effective to screen out former regime loyalists than to rebuild from scratch.
He added: “As soon as we have efficient security forces that we can depend on, we can see the beginning of the withdrawal of forces from our friends and partners. And I think it doesn’t take years, it will take months.”
U.S. military commanders, however, say American forces will be in Iraq for several years.
Commanders have said troop numbers will rise from 138,000 to 150,000 before the Jan. 30 national elections, which many Iraqis fear could be targeted by militants opposed to the occupation and bent on derailing the political process.
UPDATE: And again: “Seven killed in another blast in Baghdad.”