Monday, January 31, 2005
On this day:

History Being Written, American Liberals Cringe

Liberals are not happy. No, they might say that they are, but the turn of events in Iraq, which are occuring under President Bush's command, would be a source of joy for liberals except that they are occurring under Bush's command. Worse than this, the barking, whining, and weekly (daily?) attempts at tearing down this President have failed utterly. One need not look far for an example of this bitterness. Even while the New York Times briefly shares in the joy of the Iraqi people, their editorialists cannot help but note that (1) They still don't like Bush or his policies, and (2) those poor Sunnis are marginalized! UPDATE: New York Times Editorial: Message From Iraq
This page has not hesitated to criticize the Bush administration over its policies in Iraq, and we continue to have grave doubts about the overall direction of American strategy there. Yet today, along with other Americans, whether supporters or critics of the war, we rejoice in a heartening advance by the Iraqi people. For now at least, the multiple political failures that marked the run-up to the voting stand eclipsed by a remarkably successful election day. But once the votes are fully counted and the new governing and constitution-writing bodies begin their work, those errors, particularly the needless estrangement of mainstream Sunni Arabs and their political leaders, must be urgently addressed. In the longer run, this election can only be counted as a success if it helps lead to a unified Iraq that avoids civil war and attracts a broad enough range of Iraqis to defend itself against its enemies without requiring long-term and substantial American military help. That day has now become easier to envision. But it still appears very far off. It's impossible to say, in the glow of election day, how many of the millions of Iraqis who voted did so in hopes that they were making the first step toward a Shiite theocracy. Many - though certainly not all - Shiite leaders have said repeatedly that that they want to work toward an inclusive secular state in which all groups have a stake. What happens next will depend to a considerable extent on the wisdom and restraint the largely Shiite victors show in reaching out to Sunnis who have felt unfairly marginalized.
New York Post: Vindication by John Podhoretz
WHEN you heard about the stunning success of the Iraqi elections, were you thrilled? Did you see it as a triumph for democracy and for the armed forces of the United States that have sacrificed and suffered and fought so valiantly over the past 18 months to get Iraq to this moment? Or did you momentarily feel an onrush of disappointment because you knew, you just knew, that this was going to redound to the credit of George W. Bush? This means you, Michael Moore. I'm talking to you, Teddy Kennedy. And not just to the two of you, but to all those who follow in your train. There are literally millions of Americans who are unhappy today because millions of Iraqis went to the polls yesterday. And why? Because this isn't just a success for Bush. It's a huge win. It's a colossal vindication. It's a big fat gigantic winning vindication of the guy that the Moores and Kennedys and millions of others still can't believe anybody voted for. And they know it. And it's killing them.
Democrats cautiously welcome Iraqi elections
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who lost the November presidential election against Republican President George W. Bush, described the Iraqi elections as "significant" and "important" but said they should not be "overhyped." "It is significant that there is a vote in Iraq," Kerry said in an interview with NBC television's Meet the Press. "But ... no one in the United States should try to overhype this election. "This election is a sort of demarcation point, and what really counts now is the effort to have a legitimate political reconciliation," Kerry said. "And it's going to take a massive diplomatic effort and a much more significant outreach to the international community than this administration has been willing to engage in. "Absent that, we will not be successful in Iraq," he said.
One wonders if Kerry would ever be so cautious about bashing the President. I doubt it. The Democratic Party, via John Kerry, prove once again that their professed dedication to human rights is nothing short of lipservice. The Iraqi people are, for the first time in half a century, deciding their own fate, and Kerry manages to mangle this historic event into criticism against Bush. Fortunately, the people whose opinion counts, the Iraqis, are more optimistic. Take the Mayor of Baghdad for example... New York Post: PRO-U.S. MAYOR HAS TARGET ON HIS BACK By JOSH WILLIAMS "We will build a statue for Bush," said Ali Fadel [Mayor of Baghdad], the former provincial council chairman. "He is the symbol of freedom." More appreciation from an Iraqi voter: The Historic Day Has Come
I am happy to report...no I am honored to report that I have cast my ballot in our election. It is such an amazing feeling to be able to have some control over the destiny of my nation, a feeling I have not known before! I was one of the first ones to report to our local voting station, and I placed my vote, my stained finger is proof (The authorities are using such a system to make sure people do not vote twice). I was not the only one to show up at the opening of the voting area, there were at least a dozen other Iraqis waiting to take part in this momentus event, and as I left, I saw tens more file in. It is early in the day, but I am confident of the turnout of the vote. The terrorists have not scared us. They made some attempts at disrupting things yesterday when they attacked an American buildling, and in attacking balloting areas, but it has not been effective. People are going to vote. From the conversations I have had with people across Baghdad, it looks like the Iraqiya list is going to come out on top. But this is speculation and is not as important as the fact that we are voting as a nation now. No more of the shams that Saddam put us through, no more of not having control over the political future, it ends today.
Iraqis Awaiting Results of Historic Vote By JASON KEYSER Counting 'Going Well' in Iraq's Historic Vote By Luke Baker Iraqi Vote Meets International Standards By JAMAL HALABY CNN: Iraqis vote amid violence -- Bush calls election a 'resounding success' -- Millions of Iraqis cast ballots Sunday in the nation's first free election in half a century -- a vote hailed by officials as a success despite sporadic violence that killed more than two dozen people. An Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained finger after voting Sunday in Az Zubayr. CNN: Jane Arraf: Iraqis have dreamed of this day Results in Iraq Election May Take 10 Days By MARIAM FAM U.S. Pollsters: Iraqis Eager for Democracy By SIOBHAN McDONOUGH Bush Calls the Iraqi Election a Success By NEDRA PICKLER Via Kevin McCullough, this is what history looks like in photos.