Good background information on the election is available at the Council on Foreign Relations, while the penetrating analyses of Dr. Anthony Cordesman, available in PDF downloads from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, offer some of the best informed perspectives on the security and political outlook for the U.S. mission in Iraq. One of the best election map briefings available online can be found at the Sydney Morning Herald.
A Look at the Candidates
Iraq Reading Room
The extensive newsgathering resources of the BBC make its Battle for Iraq page a one-stop shop of daily reporting. The Washington Post and New York Times have consistently provided quality coverage of Iraq, but some of the less trafficked outlets such as the Christian Science Monitor, Knight-Ridder newspapers and the Los Angeles Times are also quite good. For access to the news as covered in the Arab world, try the English edition of al-Jazeera.
Best of the Bloggers
For expertise in the nuances of Iraqi politics, it's hard to beat Michigan University History Professor Juan Cole's Informed Comment. Prof. Cole is widely acknowledged as one of America's leading authorities on Shiite religious and political culture, and his proficiency in Arabic allows him to follow much of the political debate occurring among Iraqi leaders through Arab media outlets. His daily updates are essential reading for anyone seeking serious analysis on Iraq. War in Context, a dovish Web log provides an essential service by posting a daily menu of essential reading from a politically diverse range of U.S. and international media on the conflict in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Saves you having to spend hours browsing the major U.S., British and Middle East dailies, as well as tracking down the occasional gem from lesser known military and security publications. TIME stringer Christopher Albritton provides an excellent daily diary of his life and work in Baghdad at Back to Iraq, the site through which he got readers to finance a reporting trip. Baghdad Burning is the daily blog of a young Iraqi women elated to be free of Saddam Hussein but outraged by what almost two years of occupation has done for her city. A more pro-U.S. view can be found at Iraq the Model, where three Iraqi brothers sound off at all who doubt Iraq's prospects for realizing President Bush's vision. And the BBC offers a unique online election diary of people inside Iraq, including ordinary Iraqis, a U.S. officer and an American civilian contractor.