Iraqis vote, Liberals and terrorists unhappy.
After decades of repression under Saddam, Iraqis are voting on a constitution which enshrines individual rights and democracy. For some reason (hate of Bush), this seems to make the liberal media very angry.
While most news stories have included token quotes from happy Shiites and Kurds, the focus was not on them. Instead, I have seen story after story quoting depressed Sunnis who fear repression and spout anti-American sentiments. One AP article ended with this quote from a Shiite shopkeeper "Only force can bring results with a people like us in Iraq. Unfortunately, we need someone like Saddam. This government is too weak." Please note that over 90 percent of Shiites support the constitution, yet the media chooses to quote the small minority (In fairness, happy Shiites were quoted earlier in the article, but I ALWAYS look to closing statements to determine a writer's feelings). Another included this quote from a Sunni: "This is all wrong. I said 'no' to a constitution written by the Americans". News flash: This constitution was WRITTEN BY AN ELECTED IRAQI GOVERNMENT LED BY A PARTY WHICH WAS NOT THE USA'S FIRST CHOICE! Yet another was titled "Sunnis Turn Out to Reject Iraqi Charter". Now that's a positive sentiment! (note obvious sarcasm in previous sentence.)
I have also read that this constitution could pass over the heads of the helpless Sunnis. That is a load of hooey! If three provinces reject the Constitution by a two thirds margin, then it fails. There are FOUR provinces with Sunni majorities (Ninevah, Salah ad Din, Al Anbar, Diyala), and turnout was pretty darn high in most of them (no figures are available for Al Anbar yet). If the entire Sunni population votes overwhelmingly against the constitution (which the media seems to think will happen) then the document will fail! So, the election process is set up so that Sunnis are not helpless at all.
Personally, I think that a larger than expected number of Sunnis (especially women) will vote in favor of the constitution, because they like individual rights as much as everyone else. Those who vote against will do so primarily out of fear, because all of the oil is in Shiite and Kurdish areas and they fear majority rule. However, most democratically elected governments are not as oppressive as Saddam, and I think that Sunnis will be very happy with the constitution in the years to come.
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