Iraqis for McCain
Perhaps no other country in the world sees itself as directly affected by Tuesday’s outcome as much as Iraq.
If any case could be made that non-Americans should be allowed to vote for either Obama or McCain, then Iraqis would get the first go. So it is reassuring that most Iraqis seem to be supporting McCain, according to this AFP report.
Clearly, Iraqis are not that swayed by the Arab/Muslim/internationalist meme that “Obama is one of us.” Talk of Obama’s historic presidency as America’s first black president is not for them, although I was heartened to hear that a group of African-Iraqis in Basra were emboldened enough by the Obama phenomenon to form an anti-racism political advocacy group (…yes, the Middle East is rife with blatant and socially-acceptable racism against black people).
History can be made on someone else’s time, not when there’s a crises afoot; Iraqis need to be vigilant and practical in their choice, and that explains their support for McCain. Who will be a better president for them? Who will help them defeat the terrorists, curb Iran and stabilize the region?
The clear answer is McCain. I’m glad that most of my countrymen can separate facts from rhetoric. It is a sign of a healthy sense of political awareness.
Somebody told me a related story just yesterday: An Iraqi man and his family arrived in the United States as refugees on Wednesday. He’s a doctor (Shia married to a Sunni, I think) who had been abducted by the Mahdi Army, and then ransomed by his family. They had been living for the last two years in Damascus, fearing a return to Iraq. The family has been resettled in a nice, small house with a big yard in a working class American suburb. They found everything ready: furniture, some groceries and one-month’s rent paid up front. So far so good, but the doctor felt that something was missing. Do you know what his first request was? A McCain-Palin lawn sign.
Maybe he’ll get to vote for a ticket featuring Palin in 2016, after he gets his U.S. citizenship.
Only 8 U.S. soldiers died this past month in combat-related incidents. Compare this number what was going on last year, when the violence began to drop off:
September 2007: 50 U.S. combat deaths (22 others died from non-combat incidents such as vehicle collisions)
October 2007: 32 U.S. combat deaths (8 others died from non-combat incidents)
It should go without saying that any and every unnecessary death, whether American or Iraqi, is deeply painful. But let's take a look at the larger picture here. This same time last year, I was remarking that monthly casualty rates were approaching pre-insurgency levels.
But this month's tally marks the lowest casualty rate on record since the war began in April 2003. Will this be a major headline tomorrow? Shouldn't this little piece of information factor into the decision of America's voters on Tuesday? Who made this piece of good news more possible, Obama or McCain? Or will the media find a way to spin it off as bad news?