I was going to start by talking about the final tally on the Constitution… but the events of the past few hours has overriden that.
There have been 3 explosions in Baghdad, two smaller and one massive explosion. All in full view of journalist cameras in Baghdad. Christopher Albrighton says:
[The Insurgents] know how to get into the compound. And there’s a good chance the first two explosions were designed to get journalists’ attention, draw them to the windows and then explode the third one…. the blasts rattled my windows and I’m three or so kilometers away.
If you go to CNN.com you’ll see their footage. You can clearly see a cement truck pulling into the compound just after the first explosion. Then, it blows up. One wonders just how much explosive material you can pack into a cement truck.
Initial reports indicate 10 or 15 people wounded. If it hasn’t been clear enough already, the insurgency is using the media as a propaganda tool… as is the Iraqi/American side. So as always, think for yourself and get the facts.
On the constitution… Elections officials are now confirming that the Constitution was rejected in the two major Sunni Provinces of Salahuddin and Anbar.
A third largely Sunni province of Diyala passed the constitution, so that leaves one more Sunni province, Nineveh to decide whether the constitution passes for is rejected.
The multi-ethnic city of Mosul is the capital of Nineveh… so no matter whether it passes or fails, the results will inevitably produce controversy at some point. There have already been accusations by Sunnis that the Kurdish Peshmerga was closing down voting stations on voting day. However, from all accounts I’ve heard, all who wanted to vote were given the opportunity to do so, so now we must only wait and hope for a clean result.
In other news… we are now approaching 2000 US combat deaths (coalition members not included)… but also remember the 15,000 wounded. According to Reuters and the US Government, while the casualty rate has dropped dramatically since WW2 and Vietnam wars… that still doesn’t mean that thousands of young men and women haven’t suffered terribly. 7100 soldiers have been injured too badly to return to Active Duty. 300 of those have had at least 1 limb amputated.
Aljazeera has actual preliminary numbers for the referendum:
Iraq’s electoral commission head Hussein Hendawi told reporters on Monday that in the Sunni Arab province of Anbar, heartland of the insurgency, 96% voted “no” according to preliminary results.
The sentiment was the same in Salahaddin province. Voters there registered an 81% rejection of the charter. Final results are expected within the next two days.
I will like to see that vote confirmed by observers… but even if it’s off by 10 or even 20 percent, that’s still a massive statement in any democracy in the world.