My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


A Tale Of Two Editorials

Both the Washington Post and the Washington Times run lead editorials today about the Iraqi vote. If you're wondering where the ideological divide runs, just compare opening and closing grafs from the two.

WaPo: THE IRAQI parliamentary election campaign has offered welcome evidence that the country could yet find stability under a democratic political system. Thousands of candidates and dozens of slates have been vigorously campaigning for the 275 seats in what will be Iraq's first full-fledged legislature. The country's most pressing issues, from the devolution of government power to the human rights violations of the current Shiite-led government, have been hotly debated. In contrast to January's election of an interim National Assembly, a large turnout is expected today in the Sunni-populated areas of Iraq where the armed insurgency is based. Unlike October's constitutional referendum, the parliamentary vote inherently strengthens the cause of a unified Iraq.

The election, however, will not provide a turning point toward stability and American success . . .

WaTimes: President Bush has warned that setbacks are possible in today's Iraqi election, the third and most important of this year's Iraqi elections and the one in which voters choose the country's first full-term and fully constitutional legislature. But that was probably just caution speaking: In reality there is a very significant reason to be optimistic about this election, and that is the Sunni vote.

WaPo: While he can't determine the election results, Mr. Bush can use the full weight of U.S. leverage to press the major Iraqi parties, beginning with the Supreme Council, to choose compromise and a unified Iraq over sectarianism and civil war. Should the administration fail in this objective, there may be no Iraq that American troops can defend.

WaTimes: But today, Iraqis raise the purple finger in salute to the ideal of democracy. Tyrants across the Middle East will shudder. Success for Iraqi democracy means their autocratic days are numbered.

Just in case you didn't know where the divide was. Somewhere between reflexive pessimism and optimism.

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