Saturday, October 15, 2005

The color purple

Young and old, in traditional dress, uniform or western attire, Iraqis went to the polls today to vote Yes or No on a draft constitution. Like last year their numbers put us to shame. How many? According to Al Jazeera perhaps 10 million. That may not sound like much but estimates are that that number represents over 60 percent of those eligible.

The UN, bless their corruption-riddled hearts, notes how "incredibly peaceful" and "smooth" it went.

Even the Boston Globe managed to say something positive:

[I}f today's balloting is viewed against the backdrop of Iraq's recent history or the politics of the autocratic police states in the region, this imperfect consultation of the popular will in Iraq signifies something hopeful.. . . [T]he constitution that emerged from an elected Parliament, and that citizens may accept or reject, heralds something new and promising for Iraq and for most of its neighbors.
Will Iraq's voters signal their approval of the draft constition? Danged if I know.

Some reports hint that the Sunni's are voting in large numbers simply to say No. Since the media is always so reliable . . .

I hit what is usually the most reliable source of information on Iraq: The Iraqi Bloggers. (See my sidebar for a couple and then go on from there.) Surprisingly, some Iraqis I thought would be voting Yes said they would be voting No. The reverse is also true. Some gave their reasons, others did not.

Sooni, who also has pics, thought she would vote one way but after thinking about it, changed her mind.

I don't know if the draft constitution is a good or a bad one. It's also not up to me to say. It's up to Iraq and its people to make that decision. It's their country, not mine.

If it's approved there will be those who will sing its praise. Others won't and will claim the process was somehow flawed.

If it's not approved there will be those who will praise the decision and some who will claim the process was flawed. Still others will yammer it's proof that democracy can't be forced on people who never wanted it.

I'm going to close this with two things:

1) To those who expect that the changing of a nation by it's people can be done, start to finish, within the time allotted for a one-hour television program -- minus commercials of course -- guess again. The draft constitution Iraqi's voted on today was just that: a draft. A starting point.

Our starting point began with the Articles of Confederation, an agreement between thirteen loosely-joined, newly independent British colonies. It wasn't until over a decade later that those colonies became states, united under a constitution that all had agreed to.
And . . .

2) Tell the people shown in these photographs and others, elsewhere, that democracy is being forced on them.


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