Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Still Living in the Afterglow

As joyous an occasion as the successfully concluded Iraqi elections were this past January 30th, there was, admittedly trepidation. Would the insurgency spring forth anew in desperate violent frenzy to undo our hard work? Would the Iraqis vote in some sort of theocratic regime ala Iran, that would be as bad as the problem we had just alleviated ourselves of? Are the Iraqis aware of what they have or are they simply going through the motions?

Well the news is coming in and it is as much cause for optimism as the elections themselves. In fact the news has gotten so good the even the New York Times can ignore it or spin it away. They quote an Iraqi gentleman:

"I think the Americans should stay here until our security forces are able to do the jobs themselves."
If only we could get Ted Kennedy to accept the wisdom of that statement. Instead he stakes his political fortunes on military disasters for America. In better days this was a hanging offense called treason.

The American Spectator, parlaying off of the NYT piece, goes on the lay-out how America's gestures of goodwill have instilled faith in the Iraqi people that democracy can work. It works on the principle that we must all keep covenant with the promises we make to work within the system for the good of all rather than devolve into self-serving partisanship.

Meanwhile, over at the Iraqi blog, Iraq the Model, we read one of the single most encouraging items to come out of the election:

The first thing we saw this morning on our way to the voting center was a convoy of the Iraqi army vehicles patrolling the street, the soldiers were cheering the people marching towards their voting centers then one of the soldiers chanted "vote for Allawi" less than a hundred meters, the convoy stopped and the captain in charge yelled at the soldier who did that and said:

"You're a member of the military institution and you have absolutely no right to support any political entity or interfere with the people's choice. This is Iraq's army, not Allawi's".

This was a good sign indeed and the young officer's statement was met by applause from the people on the street.

Indeed. I dare anyone to find a Middle Eastern government where the military is subordinated to the civilian government rather than serving as an arm of whomever is in power.

That's hope.

Apparently some hearts here at home have been touched, if not changed.

Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, Mark Brown asks, "What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?"

Athe the blog, And I'm Not Lying, For Real, the good-hearted liberal kids saw genuine enthusiasm amongst the Iraqis going to cast absentee ballots. Despite their overall opposition to the war they can't help but be overcome with the joy expressed by the Iraqis.

The domino effect of spreading democracy in the Middle East as by those of us amongst the nefarious neo-con conspiracy is taking effect. It seems the elections in neighboring Iraq have had an impression on Saudi Arabia, so much so that a senior diplomat has been heard musing that even women will be allowed to vote. This is Saudi Arabia, home of Wahabism, the ideology that tells bin Laden that women are merely another form of domesticated animal. The National Organization of Women should wish it could do as much for women in the world as Bush so-called "adventurism" has done.

Conversely, Syria recently held an election and wouldn't you know it Bashar Assad garnered 99% of the vote. Iraq the Model, once again to the rescue, quotes an excellent piece of Syrian opposition sarcasm. Judging from the satire many Middle Easterners are more familiar with AMerican pop culture than we are familiar with their, i.e. the reference to P Diddy's "Vote or Die" campaign and NYT's and professor Juan Cole's rabid and rancid anti-Americanism.

Mudville Gazette has a nice pice on the alleged low Sunni turnout. Far from not turning out the Sunnis want to cooperate. Notice at the end the story about the Iraqi villagers who stood up for their newfound freedom and repulsed an attack by the terrorists, killing 5, wounding 8 and sustaining only 3 wounded among their own ranks. Freedom is a beautiful thing...and addicting. Defeatism will have to wait another day.

The hug shared by the mother of a Marine slain in Iraq and the Iraqi woman was genuine, despite the pissing and moaning of the libs. Don't you just hate it when people genuinely come together in peace, love and harmony?

Arthur Chrenkoff, as usual, has an excellent round-up of the good news. This time the election related stuff.

This is not to say there won't be troubles ahead, the terrorists have suffered a major strategic defeat and already al-Zarqawi's minions of death seem somewhat quieter than they did before. Following the liberation of Fallujah the al Quaeda offshoot immediatyely staged attacks in Mosul, Ramadi and Sammarra just to prove they still had a presence. Now things seem different. We're seeing a few token attacks but nothing intense and sustained. It isn't like al Zarqawi didn't know the elections were coming. He had months to plan his response...but where is that response?

Much of the Iraqi infrastructure is still in need of repairs, we still have to hang Saddam in a just and orderly manner and yes, there are still some terrorists running about that either have to change their ways or die. These are potential hazards but none is a true obstacle and none are insurmountable.

Enjoy, the articles, I know I did.

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