Omar and Mohammed have aggregated election reports over at their weblog, Iraq the Model (many pictures included).
Starting from 7 am all the polling centers in Babylon opened their doors to receive the voters, the turnout was light in the first three hours but it increased after that in a good way.
The first voter was a disabled man, Jasim Hameed (65) he attended at 6:30 am and insisted on being the first one to vote.
When he put the paper in the box said “I’m here at this early hour to challenge the terrorists who want to kill the democratic process in Iraq and I want to encourage the healthy people to vote.”
Some would say I’m overly optimistic. I’d say I’m in good company.
UPDATE: Mohammed has added a post-election follow-up that includes some reflections sent in by a friend of his:
From 59 to 64 to 70%…in one year our people have proven that the future belongs to them and not those whose claws scarred Iraq’s neck.
A few bombs and some bullets, that’s all what the terrorists could do to interrupt the carnival in Baghdad. The people heard the explosions but those weren’t loud enough to distract the marching hearts from their destination. I saw our policemen yesterday showing their hearts too when they refused to wear their armors, maybe because they didn’t want to let anything stand between our hearts from theirs.
It was a day of happiness for Iraqis and a day of loss for the strangers who thought their camels brought them to a land void of patriots.
It is a day we will await to come again for four long years…to do the right thing again or to correct the mistake if we did one yesterday.
Anyway, I believe we left a mark on the face of history, a purple mark that will not be forgotten easily.
God bless Iraq and Iraq’s friends throughout this world. It wasn’t our day alone; it was your day too.
One important thing I’ve been meaning to do, and had originally planned to get to in due course while telling my own story, has been pointing out some of the absolute best stuff I’ve had the pleasure of reading in the past few years — on topics ranging from the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror, to the economics and politics of liberty, to the characteristically American way of life and its critics and ideological opponents foreign and domestic.
I’m now thinking I’m going to try to get to that sooner rather than later, since it’s become clear that it may otherwise take an indeterminate amount of time for me to get around to it if I stick to strict chronological order. We face serious dangers to our culture and way of life now, and I think we desperately and urgently need an attitude change if we’re going to have hope of successfully tackling them.
So far I’ve been quietly stocking my sidebar with top-level links to sites that I feel especially merit readers’ attention, but I haven’t yet written much of anything about them beyond the brief descriptive comments I placed beside the links. It’s my intention to now begin assembling, and soon post, a “top however-many-it-takes” recommended reading/listening list — which at this point will involve sifting through a few years’ worth of browser bookmarks and jotted-down reading notes to make sure I don’t miss anything important…
Meanwhile, I’ll start with a positively easy first recommendation: If you haven’t already read every bit of Bill Whittle’s work, I can only say that you are missing out tremendously — by all means head over to his site and choose any essay at random from his “Silent America” series. (I hope to write more about specific pieces among them in the not too distant future.) Or, go straight to Bill’s most recent piece, “Tribes” , which I pointed out when he posted it back in September, and which I just had the supreme pleasure of re-reading again with fresh eyes. No writer I have yet encountered speaks so eloquently or clearly about the American idea and way of life, and why they are every bit worth risking one’s life and security to defend and preserve. Bill lifted me up from the depths of despair when I needed it most, and for that I will be forever and gratefully in his debt. I can’t speak to whether his arguments would be persuasive to someone coming from a strongly different ideological bent, but I would certainly recommend his work as offering some of the most coherently presented and meritorious advocacy in favor of the American path in general and our present course in particular. I urge anyone who may be undecided on such matters and open to considering a different point of view to give audience to Bill’s ideas and expression of them. In my at least somewhat humble opinion, one’s time can hardly be better spent.
More to come…