The remarkable thing about this election is that despite the dangers Iraqis even in the most violent areas seem determined to turn out and vote. Polls last week showed that at least 64% of the Iraqis in Baghdad planned to vote and many commented that they considered voting to be worth the risk of death, looking on death while voting as being as much of a martyr's death as religious extremists consider a death during an act of terror. Ordinary Iraqis who don't want to fight or carry guns or blow things up see this election as the surest way to strike back against the forces of terror which have harrowed their country. For them every vote cast, especially votes by women, is as good as bullet in the heart of reactionary terrorism. This is the way for peaceful people to take back their country with a legitimate government and a clear public mandate against extremism and violence.
Some are concerned that Sunnis may choose not to vote. How much of an issue htis is remains to be seen. Many Sunnis are participating in non-religious parties and will vote for those affiliations, and those who actually do choose to boycott the election because of religious loyalties are actually effectively casting a virtual vote. They are choosing not to be counted and not to be represented. Buy opting out of the electoral process they are in effect voting for continued terrorism and civil war. As a minority which takes that stand they can expect to reap the rewards of such an unacceptable political position, but that is the choice they made.
The disturbing news is that there are those who would rather see Iraq plunged into another 50 years of darkness and oppression than win freedom with the support of the United States. They would rather side with fundamentalist theocrats, murdering terrorists and the remnants of Iraq's old tyrranical regime regardless of the harm it does to the people of Iraq. For them anything is better than a victory for America and Freedom. These hate-filled narcissists like the sneering socialists at The Guardian and the radical provocateurs at Al Jezeera will never accept the outcome of the election no matter how well it goes. Every Sunni who chooses to endorse terrorism instead of voting will have been 'disenfranchised' in their eyes, and every voter who stays away from the polls out of fear of violence will be painted as 'boycotting' the election.