February 6, 2005


Suddenly, It's 'America Who?' (DEXTER FILKINS, 2/06/05, NY Times)

Through 22 months of occupation nd war here, the word "America" was usually the first word to pass through the lips of an Iraqi with a gripe.

Why can't the Americans produce enough electricity? Why can't the Americans guarantee security? Why can't the Americans find my stolen car?

Last week, as the euphoria of nationwide elections washed over this country, a remarkable thing happened: Iraqis, by and large, stopped talking about the Americans.

Which is why elections should have been held by Labor Day (if not Memorial Day) of 2003.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 6, 2005 9:44 AM

Well, the administration had a certain amount of confidence in their Iraqi policy and faith that the elections would go the way they hoped, but not that much. Bush was and is willing to use his political capital to push controversal measures (unlike Clinton, who believed politcal capital was something to crow about in and of itself), but he and Rove opted for the known in Iraq going into our elections over the unknown that an Iraq election and its aftermath would bring. A mistake in hindsight, but fortunately, not a fatal one.

Posted by: John at February 6, 2005 12:18 PM

Has the conventional wisdom ever been right about anything? Once?

Maybe a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 6, 2005 5:17 PM

I have to dissent here. The elections were successful because the terrorists were unable to mount any devastating attacks. I believe this was due to the use of Iraqi security forces at the polls, and I'm not at all sure it would have gone that well on Labor or Memorial Day of 2003.

Posted by: jd watson at February 6, 2005 6:15 PM

The elections haven't been successful yet, jd.

This blog, of all places, ought to be riddled with skepticism of the formalism of casting ballots.

However, that's by the way. I have not had anything to say about the elections or their possible outcome, because we'll see soon enough anyway.

I am not optimistic, but I could be wrong.

However, as for this jerk, how could he possibly know what Iraqis by and large are doing?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at February 6, 2005 6:57 PM


You've had tons to say. not least that no Iraqis wanyed the vote and that Mookie was the most popular man in Shi'astan...blah...blah...blah...

Posted by: oj at February 6, 2005 10:16 PM

I haven't had anything to say for weeks.

I never said either of those things. I said Iraqis did not want democracy. Obviously, if a ritual of balloting is good enough to enshrine an antidemocratic regime in their favor, they're not going to balk.

Baghdad is worth a mass, so to speak.

The point is whether an electoral process can produce a working government. That's is still an open question.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at February 10, 2005 12:52 AM

Yes, silenced in the face of repudiation became you.

Posted by: oj at February 10, 2005 12:57 AM