Building a stable government in Iraq
The most sensible tone after tomorrow's electoral success is caution.
While the election was a major step toward constitutional democracy in Iraq, the central dilemma for President George W. Bush remains: The longer U.S. troops stay, the more they are a target for insurgents; yet a hasty withdrawal could undermine the government the U.S. is trying to build and reduce American leverage.Washington Post:
The election ``is not a `turning point,' but a trigger'' for a lengthy political process, Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, wrote in a report on the election. ``The election will not resolve any major issue confronting the Iraqi people.''
In Baghdad for election day, Republican Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) said the vote provided a "second chance," but he also warned that the successful day should not be interpreted as a solution to Iraq's problems. "Really, in many ways, they're just beginning," he said in an interview with NBC's "Today" show.The New York Times:
"There's a lot of joy, as far as I'm concerned, in seeing the Iraqi people accomplish this major milestone in the march to democracy," Mr. Bush said in the Oval Office on Thursday afternoon, about three hours after the polls had closed in Iraq. "Millions of people voted. And I haven't seen all the tabulations of the vote, but we're certain that the turnout was significant and that the violence was down."