Monday, March 08, 2010

Iraqi elections encouraging in a preliminary way

It doesn't change the fact that invading Iraq was a huge mistake that killed thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis unnecessarily, only to create a regime that is more likely than not to be a de facto ally of, or at least not a buffer against Iran. But there was something almost inspiring about the willingness bordering on eagerness of most Iraqis to go to the polls Sunday and at least make an effort to bring a semblance of democratic governance to their country. Given that no party or faction is likely to get a majority or even a strong enough plurality to form a government quickly, it is likely to take months to form a government, there is likely to be a period of instability that will require forbearance that we might not have a right to expect. But we should hope that the Iraqis get through this and form something resembling a stable government if we want U.S. troops to leave on schedule -- or even, if certain factions end up being influential, ahead of schedule. I'm hoping for he best but prepared for something less.

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