I've been asked to comment on the Iraqi elections and I will do so staying within my own parameters for information that I can put out on this forum.
I believe the Iraqi elections absolutely have to happen on time. I think that any delay will give the AIF (Anti-Iraqi Forces) the proverbial foot in the door that they need to continue their attacks against Iraqis. (And I say against Iraqis because for the most part, they have ceased attacking US military targets.) I believe the elections need to happen, even if a large number of the Sunni population refused to vote, because Iraqis will elect someone. Even if every Iraqi hates this person, he will still have been ELECTED in a true democratic election. He will have a "mandate" from the Iraqi people for the first time. He cannot be called an American stooge because the Iraqis elected him. I think no matter his motivations for running he will realize that the hopes of every Iraqi rest in him. Also, I believe that the few numbers of AIF forces that are truly Iraqi will give him a chance to prove that he can run this country. Those that are foriegn fighters will be driven out by the increasing potent Iraqi Army and Iragi National Guard. I may be wrong, and that comes from being an optimistic person, but I truly believe that elections on January 30th can turn this country from the brink of war to peace. A truly lasting peace that will allow Iraq to become a prosperous and powerful nation.