You’re looking at Liberty, touching the future…
(Essam al-Sudani/Agence France-Presse
— Getty Images)
Predictably – because this was effected by President Bush – the American press is barely mentioning it (last night I could find exactly one story about it, and that was by the BBC) but 15 million registered Iraqis went to the polls today:
One Sunni Arab man strolling through Baghdad, Ali Sabah, 26, told CNN he is looking forward to casting a ballot. “Democracy is the correct way, this is for sure,” he said.
“Strolling through Baghdad…” I love it. That should be a pop-song.
It’s kind of wonderful to read about – but we also are reminded that an incipient democracy is a fragile thing, and that not everyone understands the value of liberty.
“How can we not vote? All of us here have always complained about being oppressed and not having a leader who represented us. Now is our chance,” said Basra voter Abdul Hussein Nuri.
There were some glitches. Several people said they failed to find their names on voter registration lists and could not vote. One of them was elderly Fadhel al-Shimary, who had walked three km (two miles) to vote in Baghdad’s Palestine Street, stopping every 50 meters to rest in a chair carried by his son.
“I will wait here until the night. I must vote before I die,” he said. “Maybe they are trying to steal my vote. But I will not allow it. I am still alive. I am not dead yet.”
…for many Iraqis this election is less about ethnicity or sect than competence. In the dusty town of Khana Sul near the Syrian border, 19-year-old student Jamil Kirtohamo, a member of the Yazidi religious minority, held up the purple-dyed finger that showed he had voted.
“It’s my first time voting and I’m very excited,” he said, pointing to a pothole. “We want whoever wins to pave this road.”
Yeah, baby, that’s it! When you can afford to vote about potholes, you’re on your way!
This would all be such marvelous, noteworthy news, and the cable networks would be filling the airways with pride-filled reports that praised the American President and troops who helped make it so – if only the American President involved had had a D after his name, instead of an R. How incredibly petty and small.
I’m starting to think the purple finger thing is a good idea for us, here in America, too. A nice strong purple ink that takes a few days to wash off…
FLASHBACK: I wonder if Jon Stewart’s worldview can accept this yet, without imploding:
“What if Bush – the president, ours – has been right about [Iraq] all along? I feel like my world view will not sustain itself and I may – and, again, I don’t know if I can physically do this – implode.”
UPDATE: An Althouse commenter notes: President Obama did not mention the Iraqi elections in his address, today. Are you surprised? You’d think as CIC, he’d want to express pride and thanks to America’s troops. Nope. Not a word. He dropped the ball. Again.
UPDATE II: President Obama did finally acknowledge the Iraqi elections about five hours ago, vague but positive, he still did not mention his troops or thank the mil families for their sacrifice. Would someone please tell the president that the troops are HIS, and he needs to remember them?
I thought Michelle Obama was going to be all about Military Families. Seems like this would have been a good day to express thanks to them before the country, doesn’t it?
How awful and really sad, and incredibly childish, to think you can only be proud of your country – or happy for these people – when the the “correct” party is in power. And even more childish and small and petty not to congratulate the troops who liberated these people, because it might make their CIC look good. Small, petty, narrow. Ungenerous. I’ve noted that before in our new president. Ungracious and Ungenerous ads up to “insecure.” And clearly his press suffers from insecurity, too.
Tell this woman her ability to vote is no big deal. I dare you.
Our troops – American troops who sacrifice themselves for liberty, all over the world – did not die in vain. God bless them, and their families.
I blame Bush, btw. And I hope he feels good reading about this.
Ed Morrissey: “This is what victory looks like.”
Lorie Byrd: “Iraq is a better place today than it was under the evil regime of Saddam Hussein and his sadistic rapist sons.”
AJ Strata: gloating, a little. 4,000 women are running for office in Iraq, today. I blame Bush.
The vote has been declared “a victory” by the Iraqis – they had to keep the polls open an extra hour to accommodate all the voters.
Oh, and they’re calling for the destruction of Israel. Again. Gosh, this president stuff isn’t as easy as it looks when you’re the armchair general!
Another – ANOTHER – Obama appointee who does not bother to pay his taxes. Boy, I’m so glad Biden told us that paying our taxes was patriotic! Glad to see Obama putting so many patriots into power. No doubt, his confirmation will sail through. But perhaps it shouldn’t. I mean, what message does it send to America that you can evade your taxes and still get appointed to high office?
The End of the Beginning: Of the war on terror
Does he ever say anything positive or is it simply in his interest to keep talking things down and never talk the good? “Self-indulgent wallowing in the gloom is more fun. Yeah, it keeps the nation frightened, too. Remember when the left accused Bush of “fearmongering to advance his policies”? Funny how the shoe fits on the other foot.
No, not every economist agrees that we need this “stimulus” bill.
Gabriel Ledeen: Be not afraid!
Rainforests: Another scam, like “global warming”? I think environmentalism – sane and rational environmentalism, not the extreme – is a good thing. But do these agenda-driven folks ever tell us the truth?
Transparency: It costs too much to look into wrongdoing, so we’ll save the taxpayers that money.