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.