It will take a while for the results of the Iraq election to be reported. Turnout appears to be good and violence was not anything worse than any other bad day despite the concentration of innocent Iraqis at polling places.
The success will have a wider impact. I wonder what the results will be in other countries where Iraqis voted? Ethnic Iraqis in America and Australia were jubilant. But what about in countries like Syria, Iran, and even Jordan? What will Syrians, Iranians, and Jordanians think about the fact that the only people in their own countries to vote in a free election are Iraqis? Under American tutelage? Will the claims that we are occupying Iraq stand up to this demonstration of freedom?
And if Iran or Syria truly sent their own people into Iraq to vote in an effort to influence the election, what will they tell their neighbors when they return to Syria or Iran? I doubt that such an effort took place, quite honestly, but if even small numbers went across, will they tell tales of joy at the voting process? Again, will it seem odd to Iranians and Syrians that their neighbors get to vote freely when they must watch rulers in Tehran and Damascus wield power?
Hard work remains. But this could have a wider impact.
UPDATE: The Arab world is paying attention to the elections ...