Though the initial returns won't be available for hours--and it may take days to fully sort out the results--today's Nicaraguan election, one way or the other, offers Washington the opportunity for a full-scale review of its rocky relations with Managua. Has not the time come for the Bush Administration to end this futile war with Nicaragua--one that has waxed hot and cold, but never off? Is it not time to follow the inspired lead of Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez and work to bring peace to a region that has known far too much war and sorrow for the last decade?
Consider all the monitoring of Nicaragua's election--perhaps the only news event more closely watched these past few weeks than the lives of Ivana and Donald Trump. Everyone from United Nations officials to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter have been down there, poking about for election irregularities.
What's surprising is not that some have been found but that relatively few egregious ones appear to have been committed. This election may never be cited in political-science textbooks as a model of democratic process. But, to be fair, Nicaragua's voting may not have been any more irregular--and perhaps less--than the kind common not so very long ago in underdeveloped places like Cook County, Ill.