Iraqi Terrorists Declare Democracy Un-Islamic & 700 Mosul Election Officials Quit?
The Word Unheard out of Mosul, reported by AP reporter Nick Wadhams, is that Iraqi terrorists have declared that democracy, namely the upcoming January 30 Iraq elections, are patently un-Islamic by their very nature:
The radical Ansar al-Sunnah Army and two other terrorist groups issued a statement yesterday, warning Iraqis not to vote in the Jan. 30 election because democracy is un-Islamic. "Democracy is a Greek word meaning the rule of the people, which means that the people do what they see fit," the groups said in a warning. "This concept is considered apostasy and defies the belief in one God — Muslims' doctrine."
What to make of this? While it may indeed be firmly believed by its proclaimers, this is pure psychological warfare on the Iraqi (potentially) voting public. There is little if anything feared more by a Muslim than to be branded an apostate or heretic. To craft a statement that has the possibility in many Iraqi minds to successfully link the elections to such a taboo is an exercise in the art of psyops.
Many Westerners may identify it accurately as such. However, what the West thinks is of little or no consequence. What is of consequence is precisely how Iraqi's receive and identify such a statement, not to mention the intimidating effect of the messengers, Ansar al-Sunnah Army et al. when they declare "anyone who accepts to take part in this dirty farce will not be safe."
Only time will tell how such a threat has been received. However, al-Jazeera reported that the entire 700-strong election staff in Mosul abruptly quit shortly after the Ansar al-Sunnah Army (Sunni Supporters' Army) message was released. The official Baghdad Interim Government response left much to be desired:
Farid Ayar, spokesman of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, said he was not able to confirm the Al Jazeera report. "We have been trying to contact our people in Mosul to see if the report is accurate, but we have not been able to reach them," Mr. Ayar told the Associated Press.
On one hand, how does al-Jazeera know so soon or with any certainty that all 700 left their posts immediately? One must surely consider the source here.
However, on the other hand, Baghdad's 'We cannot confirm' position suggests one of three possible scenarios:
1. It indeed has had at least some undesirable effect and the Interim Government is simply stalling a response until it has a further grasp or even a reversing effect before making any statement.
2. All 700 indeed have left their posts, which is why the phones have gone unanswered.
3. The state of the Iraqi wired and wireless communications infrastructure is as yet still so unreliable that no calls to Mosul were able to get through.
The third option is implausible for the simple fact that if the information were needed, American military communications would provide for American verification on-sight if need be.
For that same reason, the second option is implausible. If this were the case, the same alternative means stated above could be employed and most probably would.
That leaves the first option as the most plausible. American bureaucracies (such as CIA, Defense and State for instance) routinely use the 'We cannot confirm' position when they want to downplay an event or report, in effect (but not necessarily always) saying, 'We can't outright say it's crap, but it sure would be nice if you thought that and forgot about it. We just don't want to talk about it right now.' Americans hold no monopoly on such craftsmanship.
It is likely that this statement has had some frustrating effects, at least in the currently hot Mosul area of operations. Baghdad surely wants to measure their words carefully and patiently. To understate immediately cuts at their credibility while to overstate immediately further fuels any momentum Ansar al-Sunnah Army may have just created.
Keeping an eye on how this is reported will likely prove an interesting analytical task.