Wednesday, December 29, 2004

More takes on the bin Laden tape

In the NYPost, Ralph Peters emphasizes the importance of keeping the elections on schedule and takes aim at the nature of Islamic radicals:

Anyone who dismisses the importance of the upcoming Iraqi elections need only listen to Monsieur bin Laden's urgent plea for a boycott. Osama praised the atrocities of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a hands-on executioner, and welcomed his collaboration in efforts to block the balloting.

Islamic terrorists distrust the common people. They dread the strength of those who might think for themselves.

Iraqis are just as capable of thinking for themselves as anyone else, and I think that the turnout at the elections will prove that they are intent on doing just that.

He too thinks the tape marks an increasing desperation on the part of the terrorists:

Despite the cries of the experts-for-rent for whom imperfect results always mean failure, we should take heart from Osama's latest message: If any confirmation were needed of the importance of holding elections in Iraq, we just got it. If the terrorists thought they had a chance at the polls, they'd be campaigning instead of killing.

However, with the (typical) article "Iraq Govt. Mission: Luring Voters to Polls," the AP is betting against me:

It seems like mission impossible: How will Iraq's interim government lure people to vote in the January election amid a deadly insurgency targeting polling stations?

Many had assumed that after years of oppression under Saddam Hussein Iraqis would rush to cast their ballots. But with minority Sunnis calling for boycott and militants waging an armed campaign against the election, odds seem high that many voters will not dare turn out.

I don't have a specific example, but I'm thinking they probably said the same thing a month before the Afghan elections. Only time will tell.