Damn. I forgot to do my imitation of what every right-wing blog would write on Sunday, the day of the Iraqi election. "This is a great day for democracy." "For all you liberals wondering why we were in Iraq, this is why, mofos!" Etc., etc.
Look, elections in and of themselves aren't going to be a panacea any more than all of the other "signature" events in the country were. In fact, the elections aren't over, the votes aren't counted, and when they are (and when they show an extreme Sunni minority, since the turnout in that region was so sporadic), THAT will be more of a test of democracy taking hold. Whether or not the Sunni riot, decry the elections as illegitimate, or storm the Parliament will tell you what path down which Iraq is headed. Also, do we know about the legitimacy of the counting, given that Judith "I was proven fucking right" Miller was crowing on Chris Matthews last night that she thinks disgraced Iranian spy Ahmed Chalabi was going to be "made" Interior Minister, giving him control over the police?
I've seen too many bad days and too few good ones to expect a turning point just because I'm told there is one. South Vietnam
had elections too. Really good ones. 83% turnout. It didn't really end the conflict.
On another note, I'm shocked about how poorly administered the Iraqi elections were for expats in the United States. Less than 10% of those expats even bothered to register, because there were only 5 polling locations in the entire country. For every "uplifting" story of how somebody drove 2,000 miles from Seattle to participate in the historic elections, there are 10 others, unreported, from those who didn't bother. Would it have been that hard to put a few more polling sites in the country?
We should be ashamed that we don't know how to handle elections as well as they do in Baghdad, despite our 220-year head start.
...by the way, I love how CNN et al is spinning the pathetic US expat turnout as "almost 94% of those who registered voted!" Yeah, because they had to travel to the site, register, and then travel to vote a week later. If they made the effort to register, it goes without saying they'd do the same to vote. The point is that 10% of all expats actually voted.
...also, via Tom Tomorrow
, I see the thoughtless and insulting false comparisons by the right-wing blogosphere have continued:
IS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY, OR WHAT? Our drunks are more lethal than their insurgents.
This enigmatic little entry links, in turn, to a blogger who notes:
Number of people killed in Iraq on election day: 35 (source: The New York Times, 1/31/05)
Average number of Americans killed daily by drunk drivers: 47 (source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2003 data)
Tom goes on to relate his personal story of having his mother run over by a drunk driver. See, statistics that you think illustrate your "points" (even though Iraq has 1/10th the population of the US) actually have human faces behind them. Idiots.
Or, to quote the Insta-moron, who's on quite a roll of stupidity these days, "Indeed."