The constitutional referendum was held in Iraq today and by all accounts, it looks like there's good news on two fronts:
1. The draft constitution appears to have passed.
2. Turnout was huge.
Assuming that the constitution is passed, the next step is parliamentary elections in mid-Dec, followed by the selection and seating of a government by the end of the year.
Of course, this doesn't mean that the violence will cease. Bombs will go off and people will die, probably tomorrow. What it does mean, at least to me, is that the violence has failed. Given the choice, the Iraqis have gone to the polls in huge numbers and have rejected Al Qaeda and the extreme Islamic view.
Bush and the Republicans will be patting themselves on the back over this, and probably deserve to do so a bit. It doesn't mean success yet, but it is a huge step in that direction.
It will be interesting to see how the left spins this event. I get the feeling that some on the left would be just as happy to see Iraq turn into a disaster, just so they could score points off Bush. I'm not the only one who feels that way. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Krugman and Dowd and the rest have to say. No doubt they'll still be harping on Katrina, but eventually they'll have to acknowledge what has occurred.