I think that one thing is thank you. The better part of 2,000 Americans, thousands of Iraqis, and hundreds of non-Iraqi Coalition personnel have given their lives. The fact that yesterday’s vote went the way it did is a testimony that there is a great chance their sacrifice will not be in vain.
Good news. Enjoy it. These guys are.
There will be tough times ahead, but on balance there will be more progress than not as Iraqis start taking responsibility for their own governance. It won’t be Switzerland anytime soon, but it is going to be one of the best governed Muslim nation at this rate as long as something unforeseen doesn’t happen. And yes, I know I added a bunch of "but" and "as long..." - this is the Arab world you know (with some Kurds thrown in). Sad history as far as freedom goes, but nothing says they can't get there - just not as fast as we would like. Progress, BZ to them.
UPDATE: For a view from the alternative universe, I bring you this from the very non-American and non-Iraqi Süddeutsche Zeitung. I will put it in full, as in the IHT, for your review without comment.
Final act in the Iraqi tragedy
The vote on the Iraqi constitution will perhaps be the last grand act in a tragedy entitled democratization in the Arab world. In reality, other powers have already taken possession of Iraq, and it's time to admit defeat. The war may not yet be over by a long stretch, but America has lost it. For Al Qaeda, the U.S. invasion was a gift from the heavens. All of Iraq is a recruitment bureau for Al Qaeda's jihad. Elections and the constitutional process have only covered up with difficulty the fact that stability and thus the future of the country depend on the influence of Shiite clerics. It is unlikely that the referendum can change the dynamic in Iraq. What remains two-and-a-half years after the invasion is the realization that the United States was not able to fill the vacuum it created, and that it has created more instability and provided a breeding ground for terrorism. (Süddeutsche Zeitung)