Our thoughts and prayers are with all those lost in the tsunami and those who will be lost due to the aftermath.
Command Post has a long list of charities that are helping.
I was reading Captain Ed’s post Osama Demands Boycott, Sunnis Respond. Coincidence? The Captain has a quote from the Washington Post stating (emphasis mine):
The largest political party representing Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority announced Monday that it would drop out of the Jan. 30 election, dealing a fresh blow to the vote’s credibility on the same day the top Shiite Muslim candidate survived a car bombing.
If the Sunnis actually do boycott the elections and pull any of their candidates, they only disenfranchise themselves and can blame no one but themselves when they don’t have a voice in the new government. They are not dealing a blow to the vote’s credibility, they are dealing a blow to their own credibility.
The MSM is at it again. Instead of criticizing the Sunnis (and Osama) for calling for a delay and/or boycott of the election, they are criticizing the Iraqis for wanting the election to go on as planned and calling those results into question a month before the election even happens.
They seem to think that turnout will determine the credibility of the election. It won’t. If only 20 percent of the people come out to vote, those 20 percent will determine the winners for the whole country.
I am under the impression that if the Sunnis refuse to participate, after the election is over, they will insist on the new government giving them a voice, the voice that they deliberately gave up by not participating.
The Captain ends his post with this graf, and I agree:
To get there, we have to have elections, and we have to make Iraqis confident in their existence. Delaying elections only feeds the conspiracy theorists and fatalists who refuse to believe in democracy and the rule of law. Regardless of Sunni participation, the elections must proceed.