Choosy mothers choose Jif

In Iraq, we’re not exactly sure what choosey mothers chose, although peanut butter is probably not a staple there, even if its the sort of thing we distribute in our aid packages. We’re also not sure what Iraqi voters chose in their constitutional balloting, though it looks like we can be sure that huge numbers of them– over 10,000,000– voted yesterday to express a preference one way or another. This is actually more people than voted in last winter’s initial national parliamentary elections, and as such, is a sign that millions of Iraqi people are willing to brave the risk of going outside there to exercise democratic perogatives (and frankly, unequivocal good news, as with something serious on the line, it looks like millions, or at least lots, of Sunnis have voted.)
Another interesting question of which outcome is more important to Iraqi democracy: the passage of the constitution, which will ratify the backroom wrangling between Iranian influenced Shiite parties and Kurdish parties who may well be interested in simply breaking up Iraq, but nonetheless provide the United States the necessary cover to commence Operation Cut and Walk in time to be well drawn down by the all-important 2006 mid-term Congressional elections, or the defeat of the constitution, which will show that Sunnis actually might have a say in the legitimate ongoing development of the Iraqi state, i.e., there might well need to be some sort of “consensus” which will accelerate the national reconciliation necessary to reduce the ongoing insurgency and violence and chaos.
Early predictions are that two provinces will probably have at least 2/3 voting against the constitution, but it is unclear if a third province will meet that threshold. Nor is it particularly clear what will happen if the constitution is defeated.
My prediction is that whatever happens, Operation Cut and Walk commences as soon as practicable; we will… will… see American troop presence in Iraq down to under 70,000 by this time next year. Constitution, parliament, available Iraqi forces… or not.