Saturday, January 29, 2005

What Will the Iraqi Election Turnout Mean?

I don't think that a foreign election has ever captured this much American attention. So far most of the attention has been focused on how many people will vote rather on for whom they vote. Some predictions have it coming out very high, others quite low. Of course, what has been described as disastrously low would be considered typical for an American off-year state election, and that is without the danger of polling places getting bombed.

If the turnout is low, what would that say about the average Iraqi's desire for freedom? Given that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has released a tape on the internet of which it is reported:

The man identified as Mr. Zarqawi, who has claimed responsibility for many of the insurgency's most brutal attacks, including dozens of bombings causing mass casualties as well as kidnappings and beheadings, railed against democracy, saying supplanting the rule of God with that of a popular majority was "infidelity itself." The fit punishment for any Muslim "apostates" joining in, he said, was death.

then any turnout will show a great deal of courage. What would the turnout in the US Presidential Election have been if a couple of polling places on the east coast had been bombed shortly after opening? While the faint of heart have just as much right to vote as any other, the strength of the Iraqis who do vote will be demonstrated all the more by the violence they face to make their voices heard.

Of course, there are some who doubt Iraqi courage. Then again, this guy also called those who have signed on with the Iraqi police as terrorist rejects, so take it for what it is worth. ("Comic" Links via Roger L. Simon)

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