Iraqis vote on Sunday. So what difference will it make?

Folks were asking the same thing in 1989 when voters in El Salvador (search) went to the polls in the middle of a nasty civil war. And as usual, the press was just reporting the bad news. "I expect it will only make the violence worse," one observer told the Atlanta Constitution (search). Just as in Iraq, the terrorists had stepped up their car bombings and political assassinations, and they were threatening to kill anyone who voted or ran for office. "More than 100 towns are without leaders because elected officials refuse to take office for fear they will be killed."

So what happened?

The elections went off on time. There was violence on Election Day. But the sight of long lines at voting booths overshadowed the violence. A couple of years later there was another election that the San Francisco Chronicle (search) (which had some of the gloomiest predictions in ’89) described as "a surprisingly quiet affair…it was relatively calm. And the election itself was relatively clean."

The year after that, the rebels came in out of the cold and the civil war (search) was officially declared over. The people won. The terrorists lost. And the world was safer. Let's pray it's the same for Iraq.

And that’s the Asman Observer.

Watch David Asman on "FOX News Live" weekdays at noon ET.

David Asman joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 1997 and currently serves as host of "Forbes on FOX," a weekend half-hour program that offers an informative look at the business week (Saturday from 11:00-11:30 AM/ET). Asman is also an anchor on FOX Business Network, where he co-hosts "After the Bell" (4-5 PM/ET) with anchor Melissa Francis.