And so begins a new Iraq. The Iraqi people should be proud. In larger numbers than expected they braved the threat from insurgents and turned out to vote. Adnan Pachachi, a Sunni politician, says that turn out was higher than expected even in difficult areas like Fallujah and Mosul.
There will be many who will now begin to tell us why this election isn’t what it should have been. Why the Bush administration and the military forces in Iraq didn’t do enough. And even possibly why the election doesn’t count.
There are many who have already started talking about how we should now pull out of Iraq. That our job is done. Our job is not done. The role of the Coalition military in Iraq is to ensure security in the country while a new government is built. Withdrawal of Coalition forces now will destine the newly elected government to failure and possible collapse under the weight of civil war as the insurgent factions turn on each other.
This war is about the Iraqis and their freedom. Today should be a great day in the history of Iraq and the middle east. If the Coalition stays the course and does its job, today will be remember as the day that democracy began in Iraq.