Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Those grateful Iraqi Communists

Whatever you might think of the Iraqi elections, it might come as some surprise that the Iraqi Communist Party has taken kindly to U.S. political party training from the National Democratic Institute (NDI). This is what they have to say in today's Washington Post:

"They're very good," said Jassim Hilfi, a leader of the Iraqi Communist Party who said he had read every word of the institute's Political Campaign Planning Manual and every other publication handed out. "They benefited us a great deal."

The Communist Party, which predates the Baath Party that persecuted its members for decades, has mounted a vibrant campaign that political observers in Iraq say may outperform expectations in Sunday's balloting.

"They were quite fair," Hilfi said. "We did not feel there was any segregation or playing favorites. Frankly, I'm very grateful. This was the only support we got from outside the country."

For more on the Communist Party in Iraq, see this article from 2003 by Frank Smyth.

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