Just as insurgents failed to stop Iraq's elections, the polls are unlikely to stop the insurgency. But the massive turnout for the elections establishes decisively that the insurgents do not speak for the overwhelming majority of Iraq's Muslims. In the absence of elections and democratic processes a brutal but dedicated minority manages to amplify its message. Now, if the United States acts sensibly, the terrorist minority can be isolated from the broad mass of people. The vote in Iraq on Sunday was a vote for Iraqi democracy, not for US military occupation. President George W. Bush now has the opportunity to prove to his critics that the US commitment to democracy and not the need for occupying Iraq is the determining factor in Washington's policy.
02 february 2005
01 february 2005