Here. Via Lucianne's.
Will elections in Iraq change the region into a Little League/Rotarian/Saturday Night Boulevard Cruise paradise? No. Will they be painless, or even near perfect? No. Will the election generate an Iraqi George Washington, supported by men of vision and high wisdom, a giant who will shape the events of history and forge freedom for millions with his bare bands?
The Iraqis don't need a Washington right now. They don't even need a Lincoln; the issues facing the Iraqi population of Sunni, Shiite, and Kurds are old, old news to the groups involved. What they do need are maybe two hundred local men and women willing to leave the tribal past for a free future and are willing to bet their lives, honor, and fortunes on the effort to make it happen by serving true as elected officials.
I don't doubt that Zarqawi and his remaining allies are going to try to disrupt the elections. The Taliban made the same threats against the Afghani electorate that the terrorists in Iraq are making, even to equating the act of voting with apostasy. The Sunnis have been coerced into apparently declaring political suicide by non-participation; that's not going to happen. In the absence of ANY electoral participation on the part of the Tikrit/Mosul/Fallujah thugs they will find themselves bereft of any action beyond brigandage in the country that will arise after January. I don't think the tribal shieks of an entire region are willing to place their futures in the hands of foreign jihadis who are equal parts of psychopathic and suicidal. When the last foreign Islamokazi blows himself up there will still be tens of thousands of Sunnis who will have to deal with the central government. It's better to have a small part of a deal than none at all...and even if one has just a corner of the table today, who can tell what the next year will bring?
I think that with six month's time in hand, a new Iraqi security/army organization might just be ready to end that particular threat to stability and more importantly have the numbers and equipment to make it stick. Pretty? No. Perfect? No. Again, it will be just good enough.
Y'all have a good night. There's a mort of heavy lifting to be done in the next few months. I hope we are up to it.