Friday, December 16


If you need an antidote to a case of quixotic reverie over the record voter turnout in the Iraq election this week that included large numbers of Sunnis then just read the Washington Post this morning and in short order you'll feel as though you've crawled inside Nancy Pelosi's head or become a speechwriter for Howard Dean. The Washington Post's Robin Wright must have "Naysayer" for a middle name.

Here's a good example:

Anthony H. Cordesman, a Persian Gulf military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, agreed. He said the vote is not the long-awaited turning point but rather a trigger for launching a new political process next year that will include amending a constitution. That, he said, will better determine whether Iraq has a chance of emerging out of turmoil.

One looming danger is that the most dedicated wings of the insurgency, the foreign fighters and Islamic extremists, may only become more determined or vicious. "The steady grind of this guerrilla war is going to go on. The elections are not relevant to it, and that's what is going to matter to the American people," warned Juan R.I. Cole, an Iraq expert at the University of Michigan.

Others acknowledged the election's success but said it came too late. "It's the best moment since Baghdad fell . . . but it's at least 18 months late," said Henri J. Barkey, a former State Department Iraq policy planning expert now at Lehigh University. "The fall of Saddam Hussein was a moment. This is just a moment of relief."

Although Democrats expressed hope that the election marked the beginning of a healing process in Iraq, some called for it to be made a catalyst for policy adjustments.

To read Wright and the quotes from the people she selected for their observations, defeat at the hands of the insurgency is pre-ordained and Iraq's noble experiment in democracy was no more than a brief hiatus from its ongoing turmoil.

Her colleagues at WaPo, Ellen Knickmeyer and Jonathan Finer, are cut from the same bolt of MSM cloth, describing "the Sunni outpouring" as more a demonstration of antipathy for the American "occupation" than a signal that a unified, democratic Iraq is on course to succeed in the heart of the Middle East.

The Sunni outpouring was a long-hoped-for victory for the Bush administration, concluding a U.S.-planned timeline aimed at establishing a government that will hold together after U.S. troops withdraw. An overwhelming number of Sunnis made clear, however, that they were drawn to the polls by their dislike of the U.S. occupation and Iraq's U.S.-supported, Shiite-led transitional government.

Most telling is that the Washington Post decided to headline a story this morning by Dan Eggen disclosing (on the heels of a New York Times' story) that President Bush "signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying." The left-wing of the Democratic Party was in a full-fledged funk yesterday over the undeniable success of the election in Iraq, so the NYT and WaPo moved quickly to provide them with more grist for the mill and to divert attention from an irrevocable Bush Administration success.

Many call Bush stubborn. But so, to be sure, is the elite mainstream media in its determined efforts to characterize the courageous voter turnout in democratic Iraq as just another day and the Bush Administration as a nefarious force in undermining the liberties of American citizens.

So put the champagne away and turn instead to the hemlock.

FOLLOW-UP: Another good post from Michelle Malkin on the election in Iraq.