Friday, January 28, 2005

Democracy in Iraq

Here is what the LA Times reports is going in Iraq now that President Bush has personally "planted the flag of liberty."
At Medical City in Baghdad, doctors are dragging mattresses into their offices and bunking in vacant nursing-home beds, preparing for the possibility of widespread bloodshed.... Amid excitement and fear over Sunday's election, Iraqis are in a mad rush to prepare for an unprecedented three-day national lockdown. With insurgents vowing to disrupt the balloting and kill voters, U.S. and Iraqi security forces have imposed a lengthy set of emergency security measures. Starting Saturday, borders will be sealed and the airport will be shut down. Government offices and most companies will take a three-day holiday. Nightly curfews begin at 7 p.m. and last until 6 a.m....In addition, cars will be banned from roads unless occupants have special election badges, except in cases of medical emergency....

Demand for gas, food and emergency supplies has spurred a price surge. Black-market prices for gasoline doubled from $1.30 a gallon last week to $2.70 a gallon Thursday. Potatoes that sold for 22 cents for a little more than two pounds on Monday sold for 55 cents Thursday. Long lines snaked out of bakeries selling samoun, a popular bread. Grocery stores were selling out of water, eggs, canned food and rice.

Seriously, I hope the elections go well, and I have nothing but respect for those who plan to participate despite danger to themselves.


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