Iraqi Elections

Yesterday, the 30th of January, the first Iraqi election was held.

From the Kurdish north to the largely Shiite south, at thousands of polling stations, voters delivered a similar message: The elections represented their moment not only to seize the future, but also to reject a legacy of dictatorship and the bloodshed and hardship that have followed the U.S. invasion. – Source

My sincere congratulations to Iraq and it’s peoples. Whether or not this could have been done otherwise, I do not know. Regardless, it is positive to see such enthusiasm among the Iraqis. I hope the future is brighter from now on.

10 thoughts on “Iraqi Elections”

  1. Chris says:

    As glad as I am that the Iraqis are finally holding elections (I can’t imagine elections could have been held any sooner than now) I won’t be really happy until my country gets the hell out.

    This isn’t a concern about tax dollars or troop deployment, I just want us out of there. No country should ever go about the running of another country. It’s just not neighborly like.

  2. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Chris: My sentiments exactly.

  3. Joen says:

    I also agree completely.

    And just to reiterate my stance—I was always against this war

  4. Anders Rask says:

    Wonderful news indeed. It will probably take some years before everything is really good, but the future is looking much brighter. I was for the war from day one for exactly this reason: The dictator is gone and the people is voting.

    Chris, I understand what you’re saying, but I think perhaps it is irresponsible. While there can, and most certainly should, be a lot of debate of such a thing as going to war and to liberate a people, there is no denying that your country and my countries are there now. As the Iraqi nation is finally slowly on a path to a better future it will be totally disaster to just abandon them to themselves.

    And it is not like the Americans or the coalition is running the country. The time when the occupation force was in total control is over. Power was handed over to an intermediate Iraqi government and soon it will be handed over again to a democratically elected government.

    It must now be the coalition’s responsibility to back up the Iraqi government with onsite military support and economic help as they request it and as it is reasonable.

  5. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Power was handed over to an intermediate Iraqi government

    Which was appointed by the coalition, so effectively Iraq was run by the coalition.

    It’s good that there have now been democratic elections in Iraq, and hopefully noone will interfere with the result even if it is undesirable to them (for example if a larger number of clerics are elected and someone become scared that Iraq will become a repeat of Iran in the 70’s).

    What I think Chris was saying, and what I therefore agreed to, is that once the new government in Iraq is in place, the coalition should quietly bow out and let them run the country.

    There is in the middle east a quite hateful feeling towards the US and all those involved with them, if the coalition withdrew it would send a clear signal that they had no intention to stay and run the country (which, no matter what our leaders say, is the impression some people in the middle east have). So far we only have the words of our leaders that the coalition will withdraw once it is not needed anymore, in my naivity I assume this means when the country can run itself and I believe it would send a strong signal to follow up on it.

  6. Joen says:

    Anders,

    As the Iraqi nation is finally slowly on a path to a better future it will be totally disaster to just abandon them to themselves.

    Completely agreed. “You break it, you buy it”, it’s the Pottery Barn motto. Now that we bought it, we’ll have to stay for the duration.

    But this is also one of the main reasons I was against the war (not mentioning the fact that it was based on false premises). There were other (cheaper / more humane) options of “liberating” Iraq than to invade. I’m sure you’ll ask “what options”, and to preempt you: diplomacy, sanctions, etc.

    Other than that, good to hear from you again! Hope your ski-trip was excellent!

  7. Mark Michon says:

    I’m a good week or so late on this post, but just wanted to add that these elections are “pre-leadership” elections if you will. For some reason many agencies and reports leave out that there are plans for another set of elections later in the year for the actual future leaders of Iraq. This is the post-interim, interim government that they are voting into power.

    On a related note, it really shows how much we(using we meaning Americans, and I suppose other democratic nations) neglect the democratic process by not voting. 60% turnout is unheard of (with the exception of the recent 2004 national elections, but wars tend to inflate that a bit) in the states.

  8. Joen says:

    […] but just wanted to add that these elections are ?pre-leadership? elections if you will […]

    Good catch, thanks.

    On a related note, it really shows how much we(using we meaning Americans, and I suppose other democratic nations) neglect the democratic process by not voting. 60% turnout is unheard of (with the exception of the recent 2004 national elections, but wars tend to inflate that a bit) in the states.

    Exactly, I think it’s embarrassing! I personally love “election day” (we just had one in Denmark). And even though “your party” doesn’t “win”, (which was SO the case in Denmark), it’s still great fun.

    I’ve even gone on for several pages on the case for voting — it really is important.

  9. Jonas Rabbe says:

    And even though ?your party? doesn?t ?win?, (which was SO the case in Denmark), it?s still great fun.

    Oh, that was SO the case. Although I must admit it was more painful than fun for me.

    On a related note, the turnout for the election was quite low this time, only 83.6%, down from 86.4% four years ago.

  10. Joen says:

    On a related note, the turnout for the election was quite low this time, only 83.6%, down from 86.4% four years ago.

    Yeah, and even that’s quite high compared to many of our neighbours.

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