blogenlust
1.03.2005

Powell: Shiites Will Win


It looks like Colin Powell, fresh off his Times Square gig, wants to get in on a little Sylvia Browne action, too. Demonstrating why he gets paid the big bucks to keep his damn mouth shut, he boldly predicts a Shiite victory in the upcoming Iraqi election:
US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday predicted a Shiite victory in the Iraqi elections, but moved to assuage concerns it could bolster Iranian influence inside the country. [...] "The new government that comes into place in Baghdad, the transitional national assembly, will be majority Shiite," Mr Powell said on NBC's Meet the Pressshow. "That's the majority of the population."
Of course, this is a little like predicting the outcome of a game that has already happened, since we know that Iraqi Sunnis have decided to sit out the election:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Less than a month before Iraq's election, Sunnis nationwide are deciding to sit it out. Political leaders of Iraq's once-dominant sect say that it's because insurgents are intimidating Sunnis when they try to register to vote and threatening voter registration officials in Sunni strongholds. Opponents say the Sunnis - a 30 percent minority of Iraqis - are withdrawing to save face in the Jan. 30 election, which they appear sure to lose to majority Shiite parties. [...] Intimidation of registrants and registars in Sunni communities is one explanation for the low figures, said al Ezy. Dr. Huda al Nuaimi, a political science professor who lives in a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad, said she was among the intimidated. She tried to pick up her voter registration card, she said, but the man who had them was threatened if he handed them out, so she could not pick it up. Al Nuaimi, a secularist, supports the Islamic Party's call for a delay in balloting. "If we postponed the elections, it doesn't mean we are going to give up to terrorists as much as it could mean allowing the Iraqis to vote in a safe environment," she said.
You can almost smell the legitimacy of this election from here.