Iraqi Vote Going Well

Not if it cements a false consensus. If the constitution passes, and it turns out to be a deal that the Kurds and Sunnis cannot live with, their only real option will be to tear it down with guns. That’ll not be pretty.

I quite take your point.

What’s that story about the guy who falls from a fifty-story building and says as he passes the twentieth story, Everything’s fine so far?

the big problem with any sort of vote in Iraq is the definition of democracy:
Democracy doesn’t mean simply voting for your favorite party–(which most Iraqis seem willing and anxious to do).
Democracy also means being willing to live under the rule of a party which you did NOT vote for. And I’m afraid that most of today’s voters in Iraq are not willing and anxious to do that.

This is what I think as well. We will see in a decade who was right on this question.

Good thing most of us aren’t too worried about Allah forgiving us, then.

I believe the official White House term is “last throes”.

I’m somewhat skeptical about the idea of being able to assess the wisdom of a particular policy choice based on the conditions that prevail twelve years afterwards. On that time scale, there are usually a whole lot of different causes and influences operating that aren’t easy to separate out.

I certainly hope that a decade from now, the Iraqis will be enjoying a stable, peaceful, tolerant democracy in their country. Even if they do, however, it won’t necessarily prove that our attacking them in 2003 was the right thing to do. By that logic, the prosperity of America in 1953 could be used to justify the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

It could simply be moving on to the next phase. The hope any of the Sunnis might have had that this new government could be livable, and that there might be something they could do to prevent it becoming a retributive Shiite theocracy, is gone. There may be no reason left for them to fight this process itself. The Shiite theocracy, with a side of independent Kurdistan, is a done deal now. The Sunnis have nothing left to lose anymore.

The next phase for the Sunnis could be to let this new situation take place in the world’s consciousness, to let it become clear that they’ve become an oppressed minority, to change their image from “terrorists who oppose democracy” to “freedom fighters”.

Five US soldiers killed by Iraq bomb

Minor note, in passing: just saw on Fox (who seem to be well ahead of the competition on this story, while the others are fumbling about, Fox is already examining this triumph for Iraqi democracy and this clear, ringing endorsement for US foreign policy…)

They mentioned in passing that 10% of the ballots were discounted as being “irregular”. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Have you seen the TV pictures of the ballots? They have two squares to mark: Yes and No. How is it possible that 10% of those ballots were screwed up by the voter?

The stench rises to the nostrils. First, the ruling junta tries to rig the elections by an utterly adorable redefinition of “voter”. A public and entirely blatant attempt, I would remind you, not even graced with subterfuge or cunning, just naked power grubbing. And then this.

Are we truly expected to believe that fully 10% of the voters couldn’t successfully complete the task of checking one of two boxes? Do we truly expect the Sunni to believe that they got a fair shake? Were I a Sunni, would it be unreasonable of me to demand to have a look at those “irregular” ballots? Would I have two chances of doing so, slim and none?

Things are tough enough as it is. If we cannot prove beyond any reasonable question that the referendum was conducted with pristine purity, we might as well not have bothered. The Sunni are already inclined to believe they’re getting screwed, how much worse will it be if they believe they are getting cheated as well?

Addendum: got two bucks says the referendum passed in those crucial three provinces by a slim margin. Got a further two bucks says that margin is considerably less then 10%. Got ten buck says nobody, but nobody, is going to get a chance to examine those ballots. They’re lost, they were destroyed, went poof! Trust us.

Takers?

Nah. Shoes are getting awfully expesinve these days. :slight_smile:

So now would be a good time for the white house to start pushing Operation Italian Leather. :wink:

Because they voted “no.”

Well, you asked.

I missed that. How did they try to change it?

They wanted the baseline to be different for determining the result, depending on which way you were voting. That is, a simple majority of votes cast saying “yes” was required to pass the constitution. To defeat it, though, a two-thirds majority of all registered voters in each of three provinces would have to vote “no”.

In other words, election boycotting or failure to reach the polls wouldn’t hurt the “yes” side, since they were being judged solely on votes that were actually cast, but it would hurt the “no” side, since they were being judged based on the percentage of potential votes of all Iraqis eligible to vote.

This proposal was widely derided as sheer election rigging, and was dropped after UN objections.

I do recall that 72 hours into the Iraq invasion, Saddam statues were being pulled down everywhere, and the situation was universally hailed as a quick and easy victory for democracy. Perhaps it would be appropriate to wait this election business out a bit before proclaiming “mission accomplished”.

Iraq: Ultras attack Green Zone as ballots are counted
To defeat the constitution, Sunnis must get a two-thirds “no” vote in any three of Iraq’s 18 provinces. They were likely to reach that threshold in the vast Sunni heartland of Anbar province in the west.

60 ballot stations not opened in Anbar – commission
The Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission declared Saturday that about 70 ballot stations have not opened in Anbar, western Iraq for security reasons.
of 209 total

Joy’ Over the Peaceful Vote, Says Baghdad’s Chaldean Patriarch
Still, a spokesman for the Election Commission, Saadallah al-Rawi, said that the turnout was low in five cities in al-Anbar province.
Ten Election Commission employees were abducted in two locations in al-Anbar province …

Hey… you have to start somewhere… ergo: this post.