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Violence in Iraq

Since the beginning of this year, insurgent attacks in Iraq have taken the lives of more than one-hundred-eighty Iraqi civilians. The violence comes after December elections in which nearly eleven million Iraqis voted for two-hundred-seventy-five members of parliament.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says, "These attacks are very clearly designed to try and divide the Iraqi people."

But time after time the response we've seen from the Iraqi people is one of defiance. They will not allow these hateful few – relatively few – individuals try to tear apart what they are trying to build up. They [the Iraqis] are working to come together to build a better, more prosperous, more safe, more free life for the Iraqi people, so these are challenges."

Iraqis, says Mr. McCormack, "are up to these challenges":

They have proven that time and again. And what's important, as the political process moves forward, as they finalize the vote counts and they get to the hard political bargaining of forming coalitions and selecting a president and a vice president and a cabinet, is that they try to move beyond identity politics and engage in cross-sectarian, cross-ethnic activities in looking to build those coalitions and to do what is right for all Iraqis."

Sadruddin Qubanchi is the prayer leader at the shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf. He told a reporter, "We have a state, constitution, [and] civil establishments." Imam Qubanchi says, "The terrorism only increases our persistence and commitment to this path."

President George W. Bush says, in Iraq, "There will still be violence. And there will still be some who believe that they can affect the political outcome of Iraq through violent means." But, says Mr. Bush, "the recent elections have served as a real defeat for the rejectionists, and the Saddamists and al Qaida. . . .Sunni Arabs who had boycotted the process, joined the process. And as they did so, those who want to stop the progress of freedom are becoming more and more marginalized inside of Iraq."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.