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Yup, you could hear a pin drop.

Crooked Timber's Kieran Healy catches Michelle Malkin being presumptuous and sloppy with the facts:

I suppose I should have expected the likes of Michelle Malkin to treat the Iraqi elections as an opportunity to take a pot shot at “the Left.” As you know, we on The LeftTM are all for for more death and suffering in Iraq because it improves our case for universal health care and better prescription drug coverage. Like an excited kid on Christmas morning, Malkin wasn’t able to wait all day. She restrained herself till lunchtime (U.S. east coast time) on Sunday before indicting us along with a few other blogs: “Left goes into Hibernation”, “Crooked Timber is Silent on the Iraqi Elections”. Silent, silent, silent. You can practically hear the wind whistling through the trees around here. An excerpt from our non-existent commentary on the election appears on the Op-Ed page of Tuesday’s Dallas Morning News1, presumably as a big ole chunk of white space. I suppose we were hibernating, really, as long as you think “Hibernation” means “Doing some other things on Sunday (in our own time zones) before catching up on the news.”

See also: Matthew 7:5 and Iraqi Elections

By the way, the deafening silence on Waffle about the Iraqi elections is because I want Saddam back in power and think the combined Ba'ath/Islamofascist insurrection is doing God's work in the Sunny Triangle. Obviously.


Since the comments are down, we are going to try something else.

Carson Fire writes:

Oddly enough, I didn't notice that overwhelming silence by major bloggers (nobody reasonably faults part-time bloggers like us for not covering every issue that pops up) until it was pointed out by moderate-liberal Democrat and John Kerry-supporter Jeff Jarvis, yesterday. http://www.buzzmachine.com/archives/2005_01_30.html#008983

JJ is liberal on most issues, but his view on Iraq and terror are tempered by his proximity to the WTC on 9/11. It's not just a vague political debate, for him.

I can only stomach Atrios about once a week, now, and following up on Jarvis, I saw that according to Atrios, not much of any significance took place on Iraqi election day apart from the Brit aircraft being downed.

Jarvis has dubbed it the Eeyore Syndrome. http://www.buzzmachine.com/archives/2005_01_31.html#008985


My response
Yes, but what makes it even odder is that I hadn't noticed any silence either, and I do read a lot of prominent left-wing blogs (though not, as of this week, Kos and Atrios, on the basis that it's more efficient to wait for anything interesting they say to be quoted elsewhere).

A few from my blogroll:

Abu Aardvark:

As for the Iraqi elections, I'm glad to see them. I don't have much to add to what's been written everywhere else. The elections are far more significant than the "transfer of sovereignty" or the passage of the TAL, two earlier "turning points", for one big reason: they involved the actual participation of the Iraqi people, rather than just negotiations between appointed councils and the Americans....

I argued a long time ago that elections should be held, whatever the risks, and I'm glad that they went through despite all the problems and shortcomings. Special thanks to Ali Sistani for frustrating Bush administration plans to avoid them, and kudos to the Bush team for perservering in holding the elections in the face of great pressures to postpone them. All of the arguments for postponing paled, in my mind, in the face of the reality that things weren't getting better, and no time in the future was likely to be a more secure or ideal time for voting. Postponing elections in fragile new democracies is generally a bad idea - too much of a temptation for the autocratically inclined.

Elections are only the beginning, of course.... But it's great to see elections in Iraq, and the discussions of them in the Arab media...

Plus analysis of that coverage.

The Bull Moose:

The Moose celebrates a step toward democracy and a rejection of nihilism.

The results of the Iraqi election are the first significant good news from Iraq since the end of the initial invasion. After over two years of chaos, turmoil, terror and Administration triumphalism and incompetence, the Iraqi people and our brave soldiers have achieved an advance for democracy in a part of the world that has only known tyranny.

Juan Cole's entire front page is about the elections. One post from him has caught some selective quoting from those fine fellows on the right, to the point where you'd think it consisted of one line, and that that was all he had to say on the elections. A lot of what he says is skeptical, but skepticism is not silence. He also has an op-ed in Salon.

Legal Fiction:

As of now, the elections look like a success. Turnout was generally high, and crucially, the Sunni areas appear to have enjoyed a higher turnout than expected.

Of course, this election does not absolve the administration from past errors, and it shouldn't distract us from reality (a critical point that I'll be discussing tonight). But for today, we can be happy. A successful election, if it does nothing else, at least ensures some slightly higher probability of success (even if that probability is low). If things went badly today, I think it would have been game, set, match. But for now, I'm happy and relieved. And I'm too much of a silly romantic not be moved by the blue fingers.

If you aren't moved by the courage of people to come out in the Sunni hotbeds to risk their lives by voting, I'm not sure you can claim to have progressive values.

And much more.

Matthew Yglesias: silence, thunderous silence, and his commenters are shutting up so hard you can't hear yourself think for the din. Uh, this sarcasm thing is catching, I think.

I'm sure you'll have read by now what Von at Obsidian Wings has written. He's the centrist there, and both the lefties and the righties seem quite content to read his comments and leave it at that. Kevin Drum, linked from there, focuses on media responses, but looking down a bit on his site, I find that he calls it good news.

And that leaves the Timberites, who have already linked to their own coverage in the passage above. And that's just from the ones I bother to read in bloglines - my political blogroll has shriveled up like last month's prunes since the US election. Last time I had to listen to silence like that, I needed earplugs.

Outside my blogroll, but still in the sphere of people whose writings I visit: Johann Hari had his say pre-election. That's not at all a rosy piece, but he was positive about the elections themselves. Meanwhile, at Harry's Place: pages and of silence including some gloating about other people being silent of their own. A heady mix of commentary there, and a paradox: these guys complain about the alleged silence on the left (confined, in this case, to a small number of loonie fringe groups in the UK like the Socialist Workers Party and the Stop the War Coalition) even though they themselves are the best proof that it doesn't have to be like that. I think that's the reason why I dropped them from my daily reading: the impression that they had it in them to lead by example, but use their opinion-making abilities to beat up on the same bunch of fossils who are pathetic enough on their own. It's interesting for a while, but it gets on my nerves. But I digress. Must be the result of all that silence buzzing around my ears.

------ Aaaand... sometimes a bit of gentle coaxing can get those darned silent war opponents to speak up. But be careful: sometimes you can get what you want and still not be happy.


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