Thursday, December 23, 2004

Countdown to the election

RealClearPolitics links to two excellent articles on the importance of the upcoming Iraqi election.

Ayad Allawi writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Turning to the conduct of the elections next month, and despite all the pessimism by the skeptics, we see encouraging signs as Iraqis enthusiastically register to vote, and thousands of candidates from across the political spectrum put themselves forward for election. The cowardly targeting of voter registration centers by terrorists demonstrates their fear of the coming fulfillment of Iraq's aspirations for democracy and freedom.

The elections next month will be transparent and competitive, supervised across the country by the thousands of brave workers of the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq, and by international organizations including the U.N. Iraqis will have over 250 different parties and political entities from which to choose--a far cry from the farcical referendum with Saddam as the single candidate who received 100% of the vote. They will be conducted in the open and under public scrutiny, and though these elections and the ones the year after will not by themselves create a democracy, they will be a major landmark event of huge significance.

He outlines some lofty goals, and the optimism in his message of unity and resolve is very clear.

Thomas Sowell's "A huge election in Iraq" emphasizes the global importance of the election, and he includes a powerful rebuke to war critics:

The Bush administration has poured American blood and treasure into Iraq in hopes of an outcome that will spare future generations of Americans another tragedy like 9/11. Just the fact of taking this long view contrasts sharply with the Clinton administration's focus on short run issues of political damage control, which amounted to sweeping international problems under the rug and leaving them for future administrations to deal with.

The only way to avoid making mistakes is to avoid making decisions -- which can be the most catastrophic mistake of all.

Sowell's message is tempered with several tough questions, which will all be answered in due time.