Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Iraq election

Some choice quotes from this morning’s Washington Post. Here’s one, the concluding paragraphs of an article on election security:

Still, in the long term, those working to establish stability in Iraq counted Sunday as a big win.

"They tried to stop us doing Fallujah," the diplomat said. "They failed. They tried to stop planning for the elections. They failed. They then set out to stop the election. They failed.

"Sooner or later, these failures add up."

Here’s one, from an article assessing Bush Administration reaction to the election:

It was a big, climactic moment in history, which this clearly was because it had a lot of dramatic consequences and will be unfolding for many years," said historian Walter Russell Mead, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "Certainly at this point, you have to say that the Bush administration’s critics have made as many mistakes as the Bush administration in assessing Iraq."

article noted this ironic Arab reaction:

But many Arab leaders were mute or urged election winners to ensure that power would be shared fairly among religious and ethnic groups.

Amr Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League, said in a statement that the elections were "an important step toward launching an effective political process in which all components of the Iraqi people can participate."


E. J. Dionne can’t be a totally wet blanket:

But even opponents of the war and critics of President Bush should not be cynical about the immense courage shown by so many Iraqis, and by the troops protecting them. Nor should they -- we -- be cynical about the obvious superiority of even a flawed form of democracy over dictatorship. As John F. Kennedy might have put it, we observed on Sunday not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom.

George Will can have the last word:

Forty years ago Kennedy suffered a continuing brain cramp. He and an aging but vocal portion of his party have no prism to see through and no vocabulary to speak with other than Vietnam. Hence they see the Iraqi insurgents as another iteration of the Viet Cong. But the Viet Cong had a marketable model for organizing the modern world. Marxism -- "scientific socialism" -- is today as vanished as a pricked bubble, but when Ho Chi Minh was in Paris, it was considered the last word in modernity, and found a mass market. Zarqawi’s "program" is a howl of rage against modernity, promising only different boots -- clerical ones -- on the same faces.

Americans are understandably weary of hearing, "Now comes the really hard part." But those who said that after Baghdad fell 22 months ago were right, and those who say it after Sunday might be. Nevertheless, getting to, and through, Sunday was hard, and those -- Iraqis, Americans and other coalition forces -- who did it might yet pull that country into modernity. Isn’t it pretty to think so?

Discussions - 1 Comment

Reducing the head of the Arab League--which contains no regime even resembing a democracy--to bleating about the importance of political participation is a sweet irony. I love it. The whole Arab world is watching Iraq, and the dictators’ club that is the Arab League knows it, and make no mistake, they are scared out of their wits, thanks to the Iraqis, the coalition’s brave soldiers and civilians, and above all, George W. Bush.

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