What happened yesterday was an extremely significant turning point that will leave its marks on the future of the region.
The world stood astounded at the sight of the masses that challenged death yesterday to plant the seed of hope in those boxes and now the enemies of the change cannot deny all that; the people have said their word clear and loud in their purple finger revolution.
Why was the world surprised? And what were the motivations of the people who have never experienced democracy before?
There were so many misconceptions about Iraq and these were the reasons why viewers from outside as well as many Iraqis were surprised. In the past few months, the media have played a big role in reflecting a blurred image about the will and preparations of Iraqis to hold the elections, not to mention exaggerating the size of the "militant groups" and their capabilities.
The world has discovered yesterday-Iraqis are included here-many facts that correct those misconceptions; now it's become clear the weakness of the terror groups and their limited geographical distribution and I think that the low number of attacks we witnessed yesterday wasn't the result of the security measures alone but largely because of the limited areas these groups exist in and this rendered them capable only of launching attacks within their strongholds as the roads between provinces were blocked. Thus I believe that yesterday's attacks have identified the places where the terrorists mainly reside.
The over exaggerated estimations for the strength of terrorists have also contributed to intimidating the people but even with that, the silent majority moved forward led by the natural human desire for freedom and by the belief that elections can make their lives better. The people think of elections as a one day struggle that can prevent suffering on the long term.
The silent majority has realized that elections are good and serve the people's interests; they don't know much about practicing democracy as they never lived under one but it's the common sense of the people who see how democratic nations enjoy stability and prosperity that led them to this conclusion.
Maybe the "fatwas" from the religious leaderships contributed to this too but I don't think "fatwas" were the main reasons behind the excellent turnout. I expect the results to reveal that many Shea't voters didn't vote for the lists favored by the clergy. Even the list of the "united national alliance" which is expected to be among the big winners wouldn't have gotten all this popularity among voters if it had included too many clerics as less than 10% of the candidates in this list are clerics while the rest are technocrats, Sunni, Kurds, Turkmen and people from other religious minorities; without this variety in the list, it would've been resting now at the tail of the choices list.
What happened yesterday reminds me of the fall of Saddam and they way Iraqis expressed their delight on the 9th of April, only that yesterday's carnival was greater, louder and more specific. Are we going to learn the lesson from yesterday?
I am afraid from being trapped in an ecstasy that directs our attention away from making use of the achieved victory; this victory is represented now by the feeling of Iraqis that freedom lovers and democracy supporters are the majority and they're everywhere and that there exists a strong unity among Iraqis against terror threats.
Every person has realized that he's not fighting alone in this battle and that all Iraq, from the very north to the very south is sharing this view even in the cities where security is a big concern, like Diyala, Mosul, and Tikrit; even in Fallujah, the boxes weren't empty.
The majority wasn't silent yesterday and the people's confidence now is at its peak and we should encourage and invest this feeling now and rebuild the bridges between us, I mean the government, the coalition and the people so that we can find the best way to exterminate the terrorists and the criminals who we know now how few and isolated they are.
The joy of victory can make us lose important positions if we allowed it to delay us from making use of the advantage we achieved over the terrorists now.
What we do need now is balanced optimism and a search for new and improved methods to deal with the remaining tasks.
On the other side, all those who stood against the change will regroup again and launch another campaign to criticize and lessen the significance of this revolution and they will try to find gaps in the process to shake the confidence and the determination of the people.
I also call those who are pessimistic about the situation to make their pessimism balanced if they want to find solutions for the problems they expect to erupt.
The reaction of the dictators and the enemies of freedom remains predictable; the neighboring countries and the Arabic media will try to find new weapons to use against the ongoing democratic process and these new weapons could be even more cruel this time.
We here remain assured that we've put our feet on the right track and that the bright future we wish for Iraq has become much closer after the 30th of January but we all have to reevaluate our previous assumption according to the new facts on the ground in order to find the best way we can push the process to further successes.