- Falah Hassan al-Naquib, interim Interior Minister and a Sunni leader, has said, "The elections are critical for Iraq and all Sunnis who want a stable country".
- Samir Samaidaie, Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations and a Kurd leader, has said, "The elections are an event of historic proportions for all the Middle East, as well as Iraq".
- Ali al-Sistani, Grand Ayatollah and religious leader of Iraq's dominant Shia community, has repeatedly promised significant Sunni representation in the National Assembly, whether or not the Baathist thugs and their jihadist allies succeed in frightening Iraqi Sunnis from voting.
Notwithstanding the risks, the dooms dayers, nay sayers and Bush haters, the odds heavily favor the continued evolution of Iraq from Saddam's sadistic satrapy to a free market and democratic society. Fully 80% of Iraqis know that they are witnessing their best chance for freedom and self-expression, as do a solid majority of citizens in Japan, China, India, Pakistan and the former Soviet bloc, not to exclude the United States. Granted much of old Europe continues to oppose U.S. activities in the war on terror: it is no small feat that nations representing nearly 75% of the world's population support the determined removal of the threat of terrorism and regimes providing support to this century's great scourge.
The tide of history is turning against dictators and terrorists, in favor of the free market and democracy. Despots and crackpots from Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to Hugo Chavez in Caracas take note.
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John R. Thomson has lived and worked in the Middle East for more than three decades, having based in Beirut, Cairo and Riyadh. His frequent writing partner, Dr. Hussain Hindawi. currently serves as Chair of Iraq's Independent Electoral Council.