Sunday, January 30, 2005

Here we go...

I was wondering how long it would take for voting to begin in Iraq before we started hearing about attacks, and the answer was 75 minutes.

That having been said, we are looking at a historic moment. I'm having a problem being like my fellow bloggers and coming up with any sort of idea what constitutes success in this. I think that if 50-60% of voters make it out, that's outstanding. The big question is how bad do Iraqis want this. Afghans came out in huge numbers a couple months ago. Will Iraqis be defiant or cowed?

It may seem preposterous for me to say this, but I think if I were in that situation, I'd go out there and vote. A determination to overcome terrorism has to be demonstrated if they are going to win. We talk a lot about this being our war, but in a large sense, it is the Iraqis' war too. These terrorists have shifted from attacking U.S. soldiers to attacking Iraqi police, Iraqi soldiers, Iraqi civilians. They want to control the country. A large turnout in this election and in subsequent elections will do a lot to defeat the terrorists. Terrorists cannot win if they aren't achieving their goal of a cowed populace.

I pray that the next 12 hours goes well, and that the voting turns out great. I think it is possible to keep deaths under 100, but Andrew Sullivan's prediction of under 200 seems more realistic. What's most important is for a good voting day, and then take it from there. The post-election phase is going to be even more important, because maintaining security after this vote is going to show whether Iraq can go forward.


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