Compared to the violence that ravaged Iraq during the 2005 elections, this is nothing short of phenomenal, but not entirely surprising, since people over there predicted that things would go well. There was no major violence, even in troubled provinces like Ninawa and Diyala. From The Guardian:
Millions of Iraqis passed through security checkpoints and razor wire cordons today to vote in provincial elections considered to be a crucial test of the nation's stability.We should be reminded of what General Odierno said two weeks ago. From McClatchy:
Polls opened shortly after dawn after a step-by-step security clampdown across the country, including traffic bans in central Baghdad and other major cities and a closure of border crossings and airports.
By the time polls closed at 3pm GMT there were no reports of serious violence.
Gen. Ray Odierno , the commanding U.S. general in Iraq , said that if the country held peaceful elections this year, the relative calm that had settled on Iraq would be "irreversible."There's still national elections for Iraq later in the year, but the fact that U.S. forces are leaving a smaller footprint in Iraq is an encouraging sign that the Iraqi Security Forces are capable of taking care of business.
President Obama issued an offical statement congratulating the Iraqi people. The coalition forces will eventually leave Iraq and it will be a relatively stable democracy in a nation notorious for corrupt thug-ocracies. I'm not doing the Carlton dance to celebrate victory or anything, but it's certainly no Vietnam II like many predicted.