Sunday, January 30, 2005

A Big Fizzle? - Iraqis vote amid violence: "Insurgents carried out more than a dozen attacks across the country on Sunday, killing at least 25 people and wounding 71 others.
At least eight suicide bombings took place during the voting. There are reports of a ninth, but CNN has not confirmed those reports."

First off, that's headline's a lie: most Iraqis voted far away from any form of violence—a few witnessed bombings, grenade tossings, shootings, whatever.

More importantly, today was it. Today was the day that, if ever the insurgency was going to show its force, it would have. Instead, we get a mere 8 (possibly 9, CNN has not confirmed yet) bombings and 8 other attacks. It sounds like a lot, but considering how afraid of this insurgency we're supposed to be, it's not all that impressive. Plus, they're reporting higher than expected turnout.

Today's a good day.

UPDATE [1/30/2005 - 12:14]: John Cole points to The Shifting Goalposts: "First, they said the elections couldn't/wouldn't happen.
Then, they said they would happen, but they would be wracked with violence and no one would vote because the ballots were too confusing or the security situation would keep people away from the polls."

UPDATE [1/30/2006 - 13:59]: A couple more, from two posts found over at Andrew Sullivan.

First, all of these photos of Iraqis holding up their blue-marked fingers with pride warms my heart. These people are voting for the first time in their lives, even facing threats of death, and doing so with beaming smiles. Congratulations to them.

Next, you may notice that Sullivan has a post written by a friend in Baghdad, declaring that the insurgents lost today. It made me realize something that I should have realized earlier, but let me try and outline it here.

The left has been declaring for months that our war in Iraq is merely providing recruitment material for Al Quaeda. We've declared war on Iraqi civilians, the story goes, and so they'll declare war in return.

But there's another part of the equation that people forget: we're not actively targetting civilians, while the insurgents are. Every single one of our raids is aimed at people who have already targetted us. Every event with major casualties is initiated by the insurgency, either against civilian politicians, or Iraqi forces, or American soldiers. If our behavior, designed to minimize innocent death, is a recruiting poster for our opposition, then theirs is an even bigger one for our cause. Today, I think, presented the truth in that fact.

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