January 30, 2005
GREG DJEREJIAN: “Professor Cole, alas, can’t quite bring himself to come out and state the obvious. Which is that the insurgents suffered a major blow today–because Iraqis courageously came out in droves to vote and because there were far fewer insurgent attacks than anyone dared hope.”
Or as a commenter to this post observed: “The vaunted Arab Street finally speaks.”
UPDATE: Reader James V. Somers emails:
Glenn: For most of the past two years, the debate on how well Iraq is going seems to boil down to this: one group says that it’s a complete disaster, the only successes are tactical, not strategic, and the insurgency is gaining strength. The other group says that it’s going quite well, thank you, and the insurgency’s successes are only tactical, not strategic. In short, you either believe that Iraq is mostly a success, or you believe it’s mostly a failure. (Andrew Sullivan appears to be in both groups.) In any case, weren’t today’s elections the biggest test yet of whether the glass is mostly full or mostly empty over there? Yeah, there were some attacks by the insurgents that met with some tactical success, but a whole lot of people showed up all over the country and voted. It seems to me that after today, there can no longer be much debate about who’s in control of most of Iraq, or as to whether most people there want to participate in a democratic process that moves the country forward from where it’s been.