Elections in Iraq, Part 2

ELECTIONS IN IRAQ, PART 2….President Bush says 100,000 “fully trained and equipped” Iraqi soldiers are at work and more than $9 billion will be spent on reconstruction contracts in Iraq over the next several months. Reuters, however, reports that “many of these assertions have met with skepticism from key lawmakers.” In plainer English, they think he’s lying.

Then there’s this:

The status of election planning in Iraq is also in question. Of the $232 million in Iraqi funds set aside for the Iraqi electoral commission, it has received a mere $7 million, according to House Appropriations Committee staff.

….According to a one-page election planning “time line,” registration materials are supposed to be distributed in early October and initial voter lists to go out by the end of October, which is during the holy month of Ramadan.

So far, the United Nations has been reluctant to send staff back into the battle zone. It only has 30 to 35 people now in Baghdad, no more than eight working on the elections.

“The framework for it (free and fair elections) hasn’t even been set up. The voter registration lists aren’t set. There have to be hundreds of polling places, hundreds of trained monitors and poll watchers. None of that has happened,” Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State for President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, told ABC’s “This Week.”

“Early October” is only a week away. I guess that’s when the rubber starts meeting the proverbial road.