No Major Violence for Iraqi Elections

Despite reduced turnout, Iraqi elections were “almost violence-free” and had solid turnout from Iraq’s Sunni population, whose participation “now is considered critical to restoring balance to regional politics and perhaps undercutting a reason for violence” (note: they bocotted the 2005 election, which led to problems regarding their under-representation in the government…surprise surprise!).  The Iraqi elections still managed to leave us plenty of reason to appreciate our own elections:

There was some violence in the period leading up to election day, with at least five candidates and three campaign workers killed during the campaign.

(much more after the Jump; Woodward’s The War Within and the secret new weapon he discusses)

It’s gonna be tough for the Sunnis to come to terms with being the minority, after running shit for so long under Saddam:

But one voter, Zaid Abdul-Karim, 44, said the elections will hopefully ease tensions between Shiites who gained power by Saddam’s downfall and Sunnis who perceive themselves as sidelined since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. (FoxNews)

iraqipolcartoon

This is good news.  I love hearing about improvements in Iraq, but I don’t love hearing conflations of cause and effect regarding those improvements.  Sooo many supporters of Bush, general optimists, and military-philes love to point to Bush’s (and McCain’s) troop Surge as the reason why Iraqi violence is down.  This betrays an ignorance to the facts regarding the Sunni Awakening (which began before the troop before surge) and the cutting-edge thermal-imaging technology that has recently been used in Iraq for targeted assasinations (this was mentioned by Bob Woodward in his book The War Within and on 60 Minutes (worth a couple minutes of your time, hands-down).

One of WIRED’s blogs explores what he might be talking about.

Here is a crazy powerpoint pres. from Special Operations Command

Michael Ware agrees it ain’t The Surge, but doesn’t think Woodward has it right. (Note: I doubt Ware is half as privvy to classified info as Woodward is, but his description of the Sunni Awakening (without naming it) is worth your attention.)

Links: NYT, FoxNews, Iraqi Political Cartoons

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