Aide to Top Iraqi Cleric, and 5 Others, Are Killed in Attack, the New York Times, January 13, 2005:
Ayatollah Sistani’s representative, Sheikh Mahmoud al-Madaini, was killed along with his son and four guards after leaving sunset prayers at a mosque in Madain, about 12 miles south of the capital, said an official in Ayatollah Sistani’s office.
In further pre-election violence that is predicted to escalate, seven Iraqis were killed and a Turkish man was kidnapped in front of a Baghdad hotel by a group of gunmen today, according to an employee of the hotel.
Gosh, what sort of downbeat attitude is that? Why would such violence be “predicted to escalate”? What we, the American people need, is some goddamned optimism! You know, the kind of peppy good cheer we heard one short week ago:
Bush Rejects Growing Pessimism on U.S. Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, January 7, 2005:
“The Iraqi elections, rather than turning out to be a promising turning point, have the great potential for deepening the conflict,” Scowcroft said at the New America Foundation luncheon, expressing a view increasing shared by both Democratic and Republican foreign policy specialists.
Asked if he shares Scowcroft’s concerns, Bush told reporters today, “Quite the opposite. I think elections will be such a incredibly hopeful experience for the Iraqi people.”
Bush said in response to a question, “I think we’re making great progress” in Iraq. He added, “And it’s exciting times for the Iraqi people. And it’s so exciting there are some who are trying to intimidate people from going to the polls.”