Latest Issue

The mother of all elections

Iraq's 30th January election will put Shias in power and be marred by Sunni violence. But it will express Iraqi, not US, ambitions. Bush will cease to call the shots— sooner than the world realises

By Bartle Bull   February 2005

The latest recording to emerge from Osama bin Laden’s cave calls for a boycott of this month’s election in Iraq. The Sunni Arab, Saudi-born zillionaire tells 25m impoverished Iraqis—mainly Shias or Kurds—that all who vote will mark themselves as “infidels.” In the same tape, Bin Laden also nominates Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as his “emir” in Iraq. Zarqawi is a Jordanian, a suspected rapist, and presenter of his own home video series, in which he occasionally beheads his guest stars. His al Qaeda of Iraq group is the most visible threat to Sunni Arab participation in the poll. Thankfully, most Iraqis…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect