Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Dream a Little Dream: Iraq's election went pretty well. It wasn't perfect, by far, but considering that country's situation, it was about as good as can be expected. And now it appears that the election has dramatically changed the dynamics on the ground.

Although the Sunnis called for boycotts of the election and as a result will most likely be underrepresented in the new parliament, they have since become conciliatory and now say they are willing to work with the new government to create a constitution. The Shiites, who are expected to win wide control of the government, want to work with the Sunnis even though they tried to disrupt the entire election process.

And U.S. officials say they don't believe the Shiites will install an Iranian-style government after all. The Shiite expected to become the next prime minister, Adel Abdel-Mehdi, says he wants a constitution and a government that represents all of Iraq and balances their concerns.

As for the nonpolitical Iraqis, more of them have taken a sudden and noticeable disliking to the terrorists and insurgents. Villagers are ratting out the terrorists and, in some cases, are even attacking them where they hide. Observers have sensed a definite mood shift since election day.

As always, we still have a long way to go. But the progress we're seeing shows a lot of promise.


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