by Dahr Jamail
Global Research, February 26, 2010
Truthout - 2010-02-25
"As Iraqi national elections on March 7 approach, violence and political discord in the country have escalated dramatically.
On February 22, Gen. Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, announced that the US was preparing contingency plans to delay the withdrawal of all combat forces from Iraq if violence or political instability increases after the national elections scheduled for March 7......
As a result of all of this, international observers of the upcoming elections in Iraq have lowered their expectations for the poll. Few diplomats in Baghdad now talk of "free and fair elections." Instead, the new publicly stated goal is to have a "credible election"; yet, even that seems doubtful at this point......."