I'm really not sure where I stand on the elections in Iraq, now. Most reports seem to suggest that they went pretty well, with great turnout and a noteable lack of violence. However, I see other reports that say that people were forced to vote by threats of withholding food rations for those that don't vote, which, if true, just makes me sick. Even worse, I suppose would be if they actually follow through on withholding someone's food. Anyway, I'm not there and I don't know exactly what is going on, so I'm not sure what to think. What I hope, though is that all the reports of the election being a great success are true, and that these elections can be the beginning of a different Iraq, where people don't get killed everyday, and where people don't have to be afraid, and hopefully, where people have water and electricity. Also, I hope that the US can start to put together a clearer timetable of how long we are going to be fighting over there, and start looking to bring our troops home.
What I also hope, is that even if everything goes perfectly from this point on, and the Iraqi people are free and governing themselves, that we don't use that as an excuse to justify everything that has gone on to get to that point. There are still a lot of bodies that piled up, still a lot of families missing loved ones, still a lot of people that are never coming home. We need to remember that, especially if Bush is going to try to duplicate the "success" in Iran or somewhere else. We need to make sure people don't forget what a mess Iraq has been, no matter how it turns out.