Monday, January 31, 2005

They almost had it (actually the Times did OK)

The first sentence was good:

Courageous Iraqis turned out to vote yesterday in numbers that may have
exceeded even the most optimistic predictions.

However, only one sentence before the negative:

the impressive national percentages should not obscure the fact that the
country's large Sunni Arab minority remained broadly disenfranchised

By the way, whose fault is it that the Sunni's didn't vote?

Then back to positive! (Who let this stuff slip by?):

But even in some predominantly Sunni areas, turnout was higher than expected.
And in an impressive range of mainly Shiite and Kurdish cities, a long silenced
majority of ordinary Iraqis defied threats of deadly mayhem to cast votes for a
new, and hopefully democratic, political order.

It's mixed with a few barbs amidst the positive for the next paragraph, which ends with this gem:

For now at least, the multiple political failures that marked the run-up to the
voting stand eclipsed by a remarkably successful election day.

Capturing Saddam, freeing Iraq, capturing his sadistic sons, facing down Libya...Terrible political failures. The editorial continues in the same vein, but hell, the almost got it. This was an earth-shattering day for the Middle East, and a turning point the likes of which has never been seen. I heard (on Sykes) that even Al-Jazeera was being optimistic and a little less vehemently anti-American.

NYT editorial: (requires registration)