When it turned out that the streets of Baghdad were not filled with blood, when it turned out that the only stain on that day was on the voters’ fingers (and it was purple and not red), my dear newspaper threw Iraq’s landmark elections to the bottom of its page. What a shame.It would seem that Arab dictatorships are very converned about Iraq's democratic triumph inspiring repeats in the rest of the Arab world in much the same way as Belarus is concerned about the spillover effect from Kiev (For more on this, read ZUBR). Freedom is infectious!
Why are they afraid of Iraq’s elections? Are they afraid to show that America’s plan might look as if it is working? Are they afraid lest people recognize that they were ranting on the wrong side ever since Saddam’s statue fell? Or are they afraid to show that yesterday’s winners did not win by 99.99999%?
One correction though - Saddam Hussein did not get 99% of the vote. In fact the figure was 104%