You can tell the Iraqi elections are getting close because the "insurgents" have stepped up their efforts to destabilize the country — this time by murdering the new Governor of Baghdad.
BAGHDAD, Iraq Jan 4, 2005 â€” Insurgents assassinated the highest-ranking Iraqi official in eight months Tuesday, gunning down the governor of Baghdad province and six of his bodyguards, and a suicide truck bomber killed 10 people at an Interior Ministry commando headquarters, the latest in a string of violence ahead of Jan. 30 elections.
Five American troops were slain in three separate attacks, officials said, in the deadliest day for the U.S. military in Iraq since a suicide bombing at a mess tent in Mosul on Dec. 21 killed 22 people, including 14 U.S. soldiers and three American contractors.
The militant group of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaida in Iraq, claimed responsibility for killing Gov. Ali al-Haidari and his bodyguards, according to a statement posted on a Web site known for carrying such claims.
"We tell every traitor and supporter of the Jews and Christians that this is your fate," the statement said. Its authenticity could not immediately be verified.
Note that the rhetoric now lumps Jews AND Christians together. Can their long range aims be more clear? More:
Iraq’s insurgents repeatedly have targeted government officials and security forces, saying they are allies of the U.S.-led coalition.
More interim Iraqi government officials are saying the elections should be postponed to ensure a higher Sunni voter turnout, a sign the ongoing campaign of violence might be taking its toll on Iraqi resolve. The United States and Iraq’s electoral commission, however, insist that voting take place as scheduled.
Sunni Arab clerics have called for a boycott and Iraq’s largest Sunni political party announced it was pulling out of the race because of poor security that has seen insurgents kill scores of Iraqi security forces, as well as several election officials, in recent weeks.
No matter what the rationale, if the elections are postponed it would likely embolden "the insurgents" even more, suggesting to them that these tactics are effective.