Wednesday, December 01, 2004

3 out of 4 won't cut it

William Safire's op-ed in today's NYTimes is right on the money about the upcoming Iraqi elections; here's a bit:

So far, voters who support implanting freedom in the Middle East have won three in a row, electing President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, the American ally John Howard in Australia, and George Bush here.

Now pessimists are trying desperately to call off the fourth election - the one scheduled for late January in Iraq to elect a 275-member national assembly that will write a constitution - lest they lose that vote, too.

He calls it like it is. The brass around here has been saying for months that the election won't be perfect, but it will be legitimate, and it will happen. Safire beats the same drum in his closing paragraph:

The most important element in the two months leading up to this fourth election is a sense of inexorability. The U.N. may run, the Pachachi reactionaries may drag a foot, the terrorists may intimidate - but the vote must go on. Democracy delayed is democracy denied.