Monday, October 17

Stomaching the Iraqi Constitution

From Armando of Dailykos:

Here we go again. From the Wingnuts, the Myth of the Purple Finger:

The polling went off without a hitch. Security was maintained. Sunni participation went up (though laughably, this was noted as a bad thing on ABC's This Week program today since increased Sunni participation would lead to increased resistance which would somehow lead to a civil war. Note that these Cassandras are the same people who tried to find doom and gloom in the January 30th elections because there was a lack of Sunni participation. You just can't please some people, I guess).

The doom and gloom about the January 30 elections was proven right. And what this particular Wingnut fails to note about Sunni participation this time is this:

Six American soldiers died on Saturday, military officials said. Five were working with a Marine unit in Ramadi, a hotbed of the insurgency 70 miles west of Baghdad, and were killed during the voting there when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, the United States military said. The sixth, also assigned to a Marine unit, was killed in Saqlawiyah, northwest of Falluja, died when his vehicle was attacked with an explosive device, the military said. In the vote count, which began by lamplight in many districts without mains electrical powers on Saturday night, attention was focusing on four provinces with large Sunni populations, where Sunni voting appeared to have gone overwhelmingly against the constitution.

Those provinces are Anbar, west of Baghdad, an insurgent hotbed where voting, though relatively low, appeared to have gone strongly against the charter; Diyala, to the east of the capital, where Sunnis and Shia are evenly balanced; and two Sunni-majority provinces in the north, Salahuddin and Nineveh, with its capital in Mosul.

With Anbar considered likely to vote the constitution down by a wide margin, Sunni rejectionists required two other provinces to meet the requirement in Iraq's transitional constitution that requires two-thirds of the voters in three of the country's provinces to vote "no" for the new constitution to be defeated. Another province likely to reject the charter was Salahuddin, with its capital in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, where officials said today that voting in the city was running about 96 per cent against the document.

Although the Sunni votes in Nineveh and Diyala were also expected to run heavily against the constitution, Kurdish and Shiite voters, who heavily favor the charter, appeared likely to deny the Sunnis the two-thirds majority there.

Now let's see if we can explain this in terms a Wingnut might understand. Sunnis voted overwhelmingly against the Constitution. But despite this, and despite the fact that 4 provinces will likely vote No on the Constitution, the Constitution will be ratified anyway. Thus, high Sunni participation demonstrated that they lack any political power.

Of course, the insurgency is strongest in Sunni areas, where their electoral powerlessness was amply demonstrated yesterday. Does one expect that the insurgency will now LOSE support in those areas? How absurd.


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