Yesterday was a great day for anyone who loves freedom and democracy. No one knows what the future will bring, but let's at least savor such a milestone.
There's been a lot of talk about the strength of the so-called insurgents, and I think we finally saw the extent of their power. The Iraqi elections were D-Day for them. If they could, they would have shut them down completely, bombed every polling place, killed everyone trying to vote. Instead, there were only scattered attacks.
I don't wish to make light of the deaths that occurred, but is that all they got? For all their vaunted power, and how they've allegedly destroyed security in (important portions of) Iraq, they really can't do much. Most of what they've done, and the best they can continue to do (it would seem), is threaten and intimidate from the shadows, not actually hold any public power.
Sure, if you've got thousands of people who can blend into the citizenry, it's not hard to make a lot of mischief. Just one unknown sniper can destroy a whole community's sense of security. But seriously, if they had any sort of army, rather than a bunch of scattered troublemakers, couldn't they at least take over some land? They can't even take over a building. If you can't show your face in public without being killed or captured, how exactly do you take over a country?
Let's not forget, along with the coalition soldiers, how brave the Kurds and Shias are. Not only because they were willing to go out and vote with threats against them, but because these groups actually have far more power than all the Sunnis (not merely the minority of Sunni troublemakers), but have decided to orderly move toward freedom, rather than take revenge on the group that killed and tortured them for decades, and who now openly wish to deny them democracy. Being able to destroy your enemy but not doing it--sometimes that shows the most strength of all.