Signs of a broken insurgency.

On the day Fallujah is proven to be the major weapons depot–not to mention slaughterhouse–for the insurgency, several Sunni Clerics want to postpone the elections. Good try boys, but we’ve seen this tactic before.

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Leading Sunni Muslim politicians Thursday urged postponement of the Jan. 30 national elections, and a senior official said the government had agreed to meet outside the country with Saddam Hussein supporters to try to convince them to abandon the insurgency. Elsewhere, U.S. troops said they had uncovered the largest weapons cache to date in Fallujah, where Iraqi officials said more than 2,000 people died in the weeklong U.S.-led offensive aimed at curbing the insurgency so that elections could be held nationwide. Sunni politician Adnan Pachachi, a former foreign minister and a member of the Iraqi National Council, said delaying the ballot by three months or more would enable political leaders to convince Sunni clerics and others to abandon their boycott call. Nevertheless, the government is pressing ahead with plans for the balloting, the first since the April 2003 collapse of Saddam’s regime. Iraq’s electoral commission extended until next Thursday the deadline for registering political parties in the insurgent-riddled provinces of Salaheddin, Anbar and Mosul to give local politicians time to meet the registration requirement. The weapons cache, described by the U.S. military as the largest uncovered so far in Fallujah, was discovered Wednesday in the Saad Bin Abi Waqas Mosque, where fugitive rebel leader Abdullah al-Janabi often preached. Troops discovered small arms, artillery shells, heavy machine guns, and anti-tank mines inside the mosque, the U.S. military said. U.S. forces also uncovered what may have been a mobile bomb-making factory as well as mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, launchers, and parts of surface-to-air weapons systems elsewhere in the mosque compound, the military added. At a press conference in Baghdad, National Security Adviser Qassem Dawoud said troops found the suspected mobile lab in the southwestern district of Fallujah, where pockets of insurgents are still holding out following the Nov. 8 U.S.-Iraqi assault. “We also found in the laboratory manuals and instructions spelling out procedures for making explosives,” he said. “They also spoke about making anthrax.” With resistance in Fallujah nearly ended, some 5,000 U.S., British and Iraqi forces have turned their sights on insurgent strongholds just south of Baghdad. U.S. officials said 81 suspected rebels were rounded up early Thursday in raids around Youssifiyeh.

Update(11/27): Sunni insurgents of the Al Zarqawi Network have begun to express anger at the prospect of defeat by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.


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