You would have to be a fool to not want the Iraqi elections to work out. Iraq has always been one of the more progressive countrys in the mideast, this dispite Sadam. It is does not have a history of religious fundamentalism, most of the jihadi's come from Saudi Arabia, or Syria.
The election is not really over yet since days will elapse before results are known, and we dont know exactly who is counting the ballots. Nobody who voted really knows who they are even electing. They voted for parties not people. I don't have a problem with that as long as the men in the smoke filled room, and there are lots of them in Iraq, are not trading votes the way they have been dividing up power.
The problem that Iraq is left with is that dispite the election, and the 8 million people who risk their lives to vote, and dispite all the flowery speaches about sucess, 3 more Marines got killed today in Iraq. 29 people died yesterday during the elections. And after the votes are counted the jihadi's, who are passionate belivers that God and His victory is on their side, will not simply go home.
Basically the mess that Iraq is will still be there. In April of 1971 Nixon was asked about when US troops would be out of Vietnam. He said that he wanted to make sure that the government of South Vietnam and a defense force capable of defending the country and that all US POW's were returned home.
I think that the continued presense of US forces present Iraq and the US with a perfect catch 22. Occupatin forces are the prime reason the isurgancy exists. To remove them, however, would be to created a force vacume and that could be filled with open rebellion.
However I find the continued lack of faith in the average Iraqi to be disturbing. I believe that the removal of US forces would not dump Iraq into civil war. It would cut the legs out from under the insurgent position. And to withdrawl after the vote count is done would be the perfect political time. Since victory could be claimed and the insurgents could not legitmatley claim that they chased the US out. It would be a master stroke both at home and abroad. It would go along way toward redeming Bush and the US in the eyes of the world.
But I do not think that this will happen. I think that we have no real intention about leaving Iraq and so this event will pass, like all the other events of the past two years, and things will go one sputtering in confusion and the madness will grow deeper.