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Security clampdown around Iraq before elections

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posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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Security clampdown around Iraq before elections


www.examiner.com

BAGHDAD (Map, News) - Iraq imposed a nationwide security lockdown Friday before key regional elections with blanket measures not seen since the deadliest years of the insurgency, underscoring the high stakes for Iraqi leaders desperate to portray stability after nearly six years of conflict.

Although violence is sharply down - and with pre-election attacks relatively limited - authorities were unwilling to take any risks. They ordered cars off city streets, sealed borders and closed airports.

The top-to-bottom precautions show that the consequences run deeper than just the outcome of Saturday's ballots for 440 seats on influential provincial councils across Iraq.

Voting carried off without major attacks or charges of irregularities would give a critical boost for Iraqi authorities as the U.S. military hands over more responsibilities. But serious bloodshed or voting chaos could steal momentum from supporters of a fast-paced withdrawal of U.S. combat troops next year.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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This year's elections promise to be more orderly, if not peaceable, than the last. The difference in this election is people will be voting for individuals rather than parties. The Shiites and the Sunnis are still not reconciled, although more Sunnis are expected to vote this time around, giving them more representation in the new government than in the present one. In the previous election Sunni radicals kept many away from the polls. A majority Shiite government, like the present one, is more likely to keep strong ties to Iran.

A peaceful election will aid American forces in their withdrawal from Iraq. I am hopeful Iraq will not just explode in chaos over this election, and give us a reason to exit.

www.examiner.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 11:59 AM
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The elections in Iraq began last night at 11 p.m. our time. The polls should have just closed. I haven't read or seen anything about the outcome of the voting, or whether there were incidents of violence. If anyone has, please post them.

The smoother things go with this, the more likely we will begin to withdraw troops by next year. That is something many of us have hoped and prayed (those who pray) for. There will still be about 35,000 troops left in Iraq, which doesn't satisfy me, but it's good to see at least some withdrawal by the end of this year.



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