Tuesday, February 8, 2005
The incredible story about the Iraqi elections that the main stream media has largely chosen to ignore is not just that the elections happened with incredible turnout (at least 60 percent) and a minimal loss of life (about 40 people including nine insurgents), but also that they happened is a clear indication that the insurgency is not as strong or effective as the insurgents would otherwise have us think.
This was the insurgents' time to show the Iraqis and the world how powerful they are. And certainly they talked a great game before the election -- the predictions were dire from all corners. Early, it was suggested that the elections should be canceled. Then, that if they did happen it would be a blood bath, or that Iraqis would be too scared to come out and vote. The entire Mosul election board resigned in late December from threats they faced from the insurgents. The insurgents stated again and again that anyone who takes place in the dirty farce would not be safe.
Yet millions of Iraqis did vote safely, with their children at their sides to underscore the significance of the event. Certainly I'm not suggesting all is well and it's time for a rapid pull out of coalition forces. But is there anyone who believes that if the insurgents could have pulled off the blood bath that they wouldn't have? They knew where and when to attack -- 5,300 polling stations -- and yet they couldn't pull it off. Although the future of this country is still highly unpredictable, it is time to recognize at least two crucial factors:
The Iraqis are eager for democracy and are willing to risk their lives for it.
The insurgents are not strong enough to stop the will of the Iraqi people.
Despite voices of despair from people such as Ted Kennedy, the Iraqi people are clearly the voice of hope.