“A Bullet Into The Heart of Terrorism”
In the run-up to the Iraqi referendum to accept or reject the Constitution, media outlets clamored that this was the “litmus test” for Iraqi security services and that it would help determine how soon US troops could withdraw from the country. The process of the vote has been highly successful, peaceful even, and the silence from media outlets is deafening.
There are three points I’d like to make about the referendum. The first one speaks for itself.
1. Exactly 3 years ago to the date of this past election, Saddam had just secured 100% of the vote in Iraq. Iraqi Revolutionary Command VP Izzat Ibrahim claimed it was a “fair and accurate” vote.
2. It’s the process that counts.
3. There was little violence, indicating that local Iraqis must be providing tips, the Iraqi security forces are serving as deterrents, and US military operations such as River Gate and Iron Fist are achieving objectives.
There are legitimate concerns that we must address. But, if we ignore what has happened in Iraq in the last few days, we’re ignoring the will of a good number of Iraqis. And to deny them that seems awfully arrogant to me. I can’t speak for them, nobody can except themselves. Those supporting the political process spoke, and it seems through our selective hearing that we’re only partially listening.
“I voted ‘Yes’ because the constitution will fire a bullet into the heart of terrorism,” said Raad Farraj in BaghdadÃ¢€™s poor, ShiÃ¢€™ite Sadr City, expressing the hopes of many in the 60 per cent majority community, many of whose religious leaders urged people to back the charter.
“I came here to participate and not make the same mistake we made at the last election,” said Yassin Humadi at a busy polling station in Falluja, a bastion of Sunni militancy. “We will not allow the others to control the Sunnis again.”
Parliamentary speaker Hajim al-Hassani hailed the fact that his fellow Sunnis had at least voted and would do so again: “One community had been sidelined. Now it is taking part and will have a role in amending the constitution,” he said.
I have posted in more detail on the Iraqi referendum at my site, Terrorism Unveiled.