Thursday, December 15, 2005

Iraqi Election

It looks like good news from Iraq. Very good news. The fact that the turnout is high and the fact that the Sunni seem to be voting in large numbers is undboutedly very good news indeed.

It would be ridiculously premature to suggest that this represents a leap to victory against the insurgency. Although free and open elections are toxic to the prospects of success for an insurgent movement it remains very much an open question whether the Sunni will really swing in behind the result if it is not favourable to them. And even if this proves to be a real change in the environment it is likely to be very much the end of the beginning and not the beginning of the end. However, the fact of the matter is that this is good news and everyone should be very pleased indeed.

And, frankly, somewhat humbled. A lot of people where we come from go "Oooh, you must vote - people have died so you can have that vote", but the fact of the matter is that the Iraqis voting today really know what that means.

I note with some displeasure that in the entire comment and leader section of today's Guardian, the only comment the professional do-gooders and bleeding hearts who make up the backbone of that rather tarnished publication can summon up regarding this risky, exploratory and perhaps imperfect but self-evidently widely supported experiment is a rather pissy article by one of the usual suspects arguing the whole thing's a terrible sham. If I was an Iraqi liberal, queuing nervously to vote and wondering whether I'd get to the doors of a polling booth before somebody decided that it was desperately necessary, for the good of the oppressed Islamic world in general, for me to be blown limb from limb in a ballbearing-laced suicide bomb explosion, I think I'd be a little bit miffed, frankly.


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