My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Iraqis Have Voted

It appears at this hour that the Iraqis have pulled off a remarkably successful election day. One MSNBC correspondent puts the number of attacks at eight, which, I think, would be the same number as when I went to bed last night. In other words, not only did the insurgents not motivate the massive sort of intimidation campaign ("thousands" of attacks; streets "run with blood") that they threatened, but that their efforts petered out after only a few hours. Other reports put turnout at "strong" to "massive"--some polling places had to ask for more ballots-- except in the terrorist strongholds of Fallujah, Ramadi and Samarra.

Especially heartwarming are these three points:
:voters BY THE THOUSANDS are completing the thirteen-mile walk from Abu Graib to the polling place at Gaziliyah
:Iraqis in places like Syria are being allowed to cast ballots, and are doing so in significant numbers
:some reports have voter turnout estimated at 72 percent

Let me say that again


Last night, before I went to bed, some of the doubting talking heads on MSNBC were saying that if turnout could reach the 30 to 50 percent range it would be considered a pretty good achievement. What say they to 72, hmmmmmm?

What a great day for the Iraqi people, and what a proud day to be an American!!

UPDATE: It appears that early reports of low turnout in Fallujah were, um, mistaken.

Even in Falluja, the Sunni city west of Baghdad that was a militant stronghold until a U.S. assault in November, a steady stream of people turned out, confounding predictions. Lines of veiled women clutching their papers waited in line to vote.

At the same time, the early estimates of 72 percent may also have been mistaken:

Despite the suicide bomb attacks, up to eight million Iraqis voted, or about 60 per cent of those registered, the Election Commission said.

It had initially said about 72 per cent of voters had cast their ballot, but later said that was "just an estimate".

If this new estimate is true, it only underscores the significance of this day. When early estimates need to be revised DOWNWARD BY 20%, and only then do they show the same turnout as the recent American election, you can be sure that the Iraqi people are taking their new freedoms--and new responsibilities--to heart.

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