Sunday, October 16, 2005

# Posted 1:20 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

WaPo VS. NYT: WHAT HAPPENED TODAY IN IRAQ? Was turnout high or low? Were the voters subdued or celebrating? It's hard to figure out even that much if you read both the NYT and WaPo. Under the headline Turnout Is Mixed as Iraqis Cast Votes on Constitution, the NYT reported the following:
Turnout appeared to be highest in Shiite and Kurdish areas, although in many places, including Baghdad, it seemed not to approach the levels seen in January...

The mood on the streets of many Iraqi cities, even in Shiite areas, appeared markedly less enthusiastic than on Jan. 30, when millions of Iraqis braved an onslaught of violence to cast ballots and celebrate in a vast outpouring of pro-democratic sentiment.
In contrast, the WaPo reports the following in articles entitled On the Streets of Iraq, Scenes of Joy and Determination, In a Sunni Quarter, A Day of Emotion, and Sunni Turnout Is High In Vote on Iraqi Charter:
Through the day, the referendum unleashed paroxysms of emotion among many in the Sunni Arab community...

In Baghdad's heavily Shiite, middle-class Karrada district, thousands of children spilled out onto the streets, bicycling and wobbling on roller skates down deserted thoroughfares...

Voting en masse for the first time since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Sunni Arabs cast ballots in large numbers, according to electoral officials and witnesses. Turnout in areas populated by the country's Shiite majority and ethnic Kurds, whose political leaders drafted the proposed constitution, was described by officials as low.
I guess the answer to my confusion is obvious: only read one newspaper, and then the world will seem like a much more orderly and rational place.
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