15 December, 2005

No News and Good News

No News: Since my dad called me Monday with news of my grandma there hasnt been anything new. Ive taken this to mean that my grandma, being the fighter she is, is holding on. My hope here is, of course, that she will pull throught.

Good News: Voting in the parlimentary elections in Iraq has gone so well, the Iraqi Election Committee had an emergency meeting to extend voting by one hour after it became apparent that there were long lines in some area. The increase in the volume of voters is impressive because it is being driven by Sunnis. Thats right. Sunni Arabs, who were largely absent in the first election, are now participating in large numbers. Money quote:

Heavy participation by Sunni Arabs, who had shunned balloting last January, bolstered U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops next year.
Happily enough, election violence was down too, with only a few minor incidents and at least two civilian deaths, a certain improvement over the last elections.

One can only hope--and perhaps now believe--that increased Sunni Arab participation in the political process will draw strength and support away from the insurgency (which despite the hype of foreign fighters is still largely Sunni Arab/Ba'athist). We can even...maybe...begin calling this election the turning point. Does that mean less violence? Realistically no--even if that part of the insurgency composed of Sunni Arab/Ba'athists begins to lose strength, you still have to deal with those foreign fighters for whom the fight is less about politics and power and more about ideology, faith, martyrdom "wild-eyed fanaticism" and getting to fuck lots of lovely virgins (or raisens depending on your peference)--and thats certainly much harder to fight.

SO, with good elections and no news from my dad, on both fronts I think I am going to be: Cautiously Optimistic.

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