Large turnout for Iraq constitution vote
Only minor violence reported; ballot counting begins

Regardless of the outcome, this is yet another historic step on the path to democracy, freedom, and, hopefully, peace.

Don’t get me wrong. It will be a major setback if the constitution fails to pass. But that’s what democracy is all about. Those that don’t get it need to study the formation of the United States and the adoption of its constitution a bit more closely.

And, though Bush critics are loathe to admit it, the January elections were a stunning success. The widespread violence predicted and expected by many (myself included, at least to an extent) never materialized. Well, by comparison, January was downright horrific.

GOP Vixens notes:

During the Iraq elections last January there were 347 terrorist attacks on voters and polling places. Today there were 13.

I heard this on FOX. I haven’t watched the other networks but it will be interesting to see if they report something this significant as widely as they do yet another single insignificant, albeit tragic, car bombing.

Fourth Rail writes:

The Iraqis have voted on the referendum. Turnout is reported to be high in many areas of Iraq. Saddam’s own hometown in Tikrit is estimated to have had a 78% turnout. Dr. Fareed Ayar, a member of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, estimates over 11 million participated in the ballot, almost 70% of the registered voters. The much touted “Ramadan Offensive”, designed to disrupt the election process and bring the Iraqi people to their knees has failed.

Yes, I realize the terrorist movement is still alive and well. But their attacks are faltering badly and they’ve been unable to derail the march toward freedom in Iraq despite widespread support (initially) from many locals and armed insurgents.

Fourth Rail also posts this photo:


Doesn’t that guy know there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction? Sheesh.

It’s also worth noting that the Iraqi military and police forces provided the overwhelming bulk of security and protection during the election. US and Coalition forces provided general security and were ready to provide quick-reaction forces if needed. Apparently they weren’t called on much, if at all. This is a big feather in the cap of the Iraqi military.

One final note from Murdoc: After last January’s national elections we saw a great outpouring of support for democracy and freedom in various corners of the world. The Cedar Revolution. The Orange Revolution. Others. Over the summer these movements sort of tailed off, in part because some of them ended successfully. Hopefully this latest vote in Iraq, especially if the new constitution is adopted, will spark more.

It’s the people that make democracy go. Sometimes they need help. Sometimes they need a shove. Armies and outsiders can be enablers, and they can help the process along (or hinder it, of course), but without the belief and the participation of the people democracy doesn’t work. Iraqis seem determined to make it work in Iraq. Hopefully their courage in the face of resistance will inspire others to stand up for what’s right and just.


  1. Well, I realize this is a rather spurious comparison but I can’t help making it: In January at the elections there were 347 attacks. In October at the elections there were 13 attacks. In other words, attacks fell to 3.75% of their original level over 9 months. Projecting from this, in another 9 months it will be July. If there are elections in July, assuming this is a linear trend, there will be 0.5 attacks. I suppose you can read that as meaning a 50% chance of there being 0 attacks and a 50% chance of there being more than 0. Like I said, it’s spurious, but still very encouraging! Let’s hope that this gives all Iraqis confidence they’re heading down the right path, whether or not the constitution passes. Either way, it will be in response to national sentiment.

  2. My money’s on ‘more than 0 attacks’. I believe that if the charter passes the next elections will be in December, the elections that will put the government the constitution calls for into place. By that time we should see about 50 Level 2 Iraqi battalions, a few Level 1s and probably about the current number of Level 3s, 90 or so. US troop levels will be about the same, maybe down very slightly, but the Iraqis will be covering even MORE of the security as they will be more capable and the terrorists will be less capable, and a large part of the insurgency will will have melted away. So while I’m cautious, I’m incredibly optimistic right now.

  3. Good on everyone that’s worked so hard and given so much (probably more than we’ll ever know) to bring the vote to pass!

  4. The insurgency is ‘alive and well’??? I’d hardly call it well, Murdoc. It’s actually reeling pretty hard. Oh sure, there’s still a lot of activity, but if you look at the numbers, there is a pretty serious decline going on. We (coalition forces and Iraqi security) are tearing them up. Read Michael Yon. His last couple of articles addressed this pretty well.

  5. Insurgency’? Definitely not well, and probably suffered a major defeat this weekend at the polls. ‘Terrorist movement’, though, is probably humming along okay. ‘Terrorist attacks’ aren’t even going very well, relatively speaking, but I think that sentiment and support remain strong in most places of the world, though I think it’s dropping dramatically in Iraq. I’m not trying to split hairs, just trying to clarify what I said. International terrorism, as an ideology, is probably doing just fine. The act of international terrorism is taking some lumps, for sure, and a lot more so in Iraq. But The Enemy is still there and they not broken, certainly not bowed.

  6. I wasn’t trying to say that anyone’s been defeated yet, or even will be in the short term. I was merely trying to point out that, looking at the statistics, things seem to be on the right track to allow Iraq to eventually become peaceful enough to function normally. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any violence or terrorists, but in my opinion once it can function normally then there will be one less problem state in the world and 25 million moderately happy people. I think, over the long term, a stable and free Iraq will help moderate a lot of things, but that is yet to be seen. It will be certainly a lot harder for anyone to claim with a straight face that Arabs are being oppressed by westerners if this happens. Then people will be forced to admit, I hope, that terrorists do not have any legitimate aims.