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    Elections in Iraq

    I only comment on the stories that move me to do so, but it would be madness to let today pass without mentioning the Iraqi elections, even though I usually leave general WOT commentary to people who are better qualified. Reuters understandably, being a news organization, is stressing the attention-grabbing element of conflict in its lead story:

    Insurgents threatened a bloodbath on Sunday when Iraqis go to the polls in an election intended to unite the country and quell violence but which could instead foment sectarian strife.

    Does anyone seriously intend today’s voting to unite the country in the tidy, cut-and-dried way that sentence makes it sound? I haven’t heard anyone talk as if the thrushes will warble with joy and crocuses will bloom tomorrow just because there’s been an election. Of course, the insurgents (you’re catching me intone that word the way I might refer to myself as a “confirmed bachelor,” yeah?) are going to go literally ballistic. Even if the new native Iraqi government is more symbolic than substantive at first, what it symbolizes is change in a direction reactionaries have to resist at all costs. It won’t turn into Malaysia overnight, but here’s hoping that the attacks today are contained and minimized as much as possible. Congratulations to the Iraqis.

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