normblog: Sunday, Sunday: "Indeed. But there is joy and there is illusion, and the two don't have to be shackled together. Liberals, democrats, people on the left, who could not yesterday, and cannot today, find it in themselves to rejoice about what Iraqis, in their millions and after all they've been through, bravely did... how miserable, what unfortunates. Just think how many of these same people would have been overjoyed had, say, George Bush lost last November to John Kerry. Would they have foregone immediate expressions of that joy for cautious, hard-headed analysis of the upcoming Kerry presidency? Would they hell. They would have been whooping it up from New York to San Francisco, from Auckland and Sydney to Berlin. The analysis, in that event, would have waited until tomorrow or the day after, or else been allowed to stand side by side with fulsome sentiments of celebration. But for the people of Iraq, different rules.
No, the truth, the thing that so many cannot digest or stomach, is that the road to what happened yesterday was opened by a Republican US president whom they despise and a New Labour prime minister whom they hold in only slightly higher regard than that, while they themselves were marching and otherwise disporting themselves in a way that would have closed off that road for who knows how long. Well, if you could not take pleasure from what happened in Iraq yesterday, I extend my commiserations. For Iraqis and a lot of other people who felt able to share in their celebration it was a very good day."