Just a couple of thoughts about recent "election" in Iraq:
1- The election in Iraq is neither a victory nor a defeat for George W. Bush and ideology he represents.
At no point prior to start of this conflict was establishment of democracy an explicitly stated goal of this administration. That is not why Senate voted to authorize use of force and it is not why American people gave war overwhelming initial support.
Democracy, if that does in fact come about, would only be a victory for people of Iraq.
2- Why would a terrorist like Zarqawi or insurgents attack on a day when country is virtually shut down?
Zarqawi's goal is not as stated, to destroy democracy. His goal and Bin Laden's, is to create a worldwide conflict between U.S. and moderate Muslims. His statements and actions, especially using Iraqi people, are only a means to an end.
3- Our continued occupation of Iraq is only just beginning.
Barring Iraqi's telling us to get out of their country, this election is just an intermediary step on path toward true democracy. It's going to be a long, arduous and unfortunately deadly process. Unless Iraqi's demand our complete withdrawal level of our forces will remain for years to come and will be followed by our continued presence through numerous extremely large military bases.
4- People of liberal persuasion do not welcome or hope for failure in Iraq.
Liberals hope for best for people of Iraq. However we recognize that this conflict has brought additional crises to doorstep of Iraqi people who have suffered greatly within past 25 years. We also have faced reality that people who have attacked us on 9/11 are literally getting away with murder. The reality of situation is that fundamental reasons that created those terrorists that attacked us on 9/11 still exist and occupation of Iraq has only exacerbated this critical problem. The threat of terrorist attack on American soil is as great as it was day before 9/11 and possibly even greater.