So it looks like the Iraqi election went about as well as expected. They expected about 58 percent turnout, and reports of turnout range from 55 to 60 percent. Many predicted that most of the violence would be over by election day (you’re not going to deter voters who’ve already voted), and that also turned out ot be true. Iraq also took a novel approach in preventing car-bombings: banning all cars.
It’s a tremendous relief to for the election to be over. Of course, we have no clue what happened yet, but there are some encouraging signs. I have noticed an Iraqi tendency to appear very combative and resolute despite all odds, then back down completely at the last possible moment. It’s possible that this is what will happen with Iraqi resistance: seeing that they were unable to stop the elections, the resistance may simply vanish.
While this would be good for the Iraqi people, I’m not sure what message it will send to Bush. The invasion has been tough enough that I’m hoping he won’t lightly go this route again. If Bush can claim victory — for real — in Iraq, what other addle-pated initiatives will he sign us up for? Shall we invade Iran, with over three times the area and population of Iraq?
Will “victory” in Iraq — which wasn’t even a theocracy to begin with — show all those Islamic fundamentalists that they can’t mess with the U.S. (especially when it’s still possible that the result of the elections will be yet another theocracy)? I’m happy for Iraq, but we’ve yet to see the impact of this chapter in Iraqi history on America.