As everyone probably knows already, Iraqis participated in their first democratic elections, and the turnout was quite impressive. Here are some reactions from Iraqi bloggers- suffice to say you won't be reading these reactions in the New York Times, nor hear the tapes on ABC news..
Iraq The Model-
How can I describe it!? Take my eyes and look through them my friends, you have supported the day of Iraq's freedom and today, Iraqis have proven that they're not going to disappoint their country or their friends.
Is there a bigger victory than this? I believe not.
I still recall the first group of comments that came to this blog 14 months ago when many of the readers asked "The Model?"… "Model for what?"
Take a look today to meet the model of courage and human desire to achieve freedom; people walking across the fire to cast their votes.
Could any model match this one!? Could any bravery match the Iraqis'!?
Let the remaining tyrants of the world learn the lesson from this day.
The media is reporting only explosions and suicide attacks that killed and injured many Iraqis s far but this hasn't stopped the Iraqis from marching towards their voting stations with more determination. Iraqis have truly raced the sun.
Zeyad at Healing Iraq-
The turnout in Iraq was really like nothing that I had expected. I was glued in front of tv for most of the day. My mother was in tears watching the scenes from all over the country. Iraqis had voted for peace and for a better future, despite the surrounding madness. I sincerely hope this small step would be the start of much bolder ones, and that the minority which insists on enslaving the majority of Iraqis would soon realise that all that they have accomplished till now is in vain.
Another surprise was to see some Iraqis who had fled the country in fear of reprisals, such as the families of ex-regime figures and ex-Ba'athists, actually voting and encouraging others to vote! I know some of those from school and college and I imagined they would be bitter about the whole process, but many were not.
Jordanians were wishing Iraqis luck these few days everywhere on the streets. One young man at a mall, on recognising my Iraqi accent, asked me who I would be voting for. I politely told him that I would vote for who I believe is sincere. Strangely, he said that he personally preferred Allawi and hoped most Iraqis would be voting for him. I wished his country luck as well since the King had promised direct elections for municipal councils as a first step. He dismissed that as nothing much and said that "One should start from the 'Head' down, not the other way around". This last remark played on my survival instincts, even though the fellow looked far from being a Jordanian Mukhabarat agent, so I left the man in peace.
I really want to write much much more but I have to run for now. I promise I will post again soon. In the mean time: Hold your head up high, Remember that you are Iraqi.
Chris Muir at Day by Day nails it with the following cartoon-
And of course, those opposed to Bush and his policies are moving the goalposts further back-
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who lost the November presidential election against Republican President George W. Bush, described the Iraqi elections as "significant" and "important" but said they should not be "overhyped."
"It is significant that there is a vote in Iraq," Kerry said in an interview with NBC television’s Meet the Press. "But … no one in the United States should try to overhype this election.
"This election is a sort of demarcation point, and what really counts now is the effort to have a legitimate political reconciliation," Kerry said. "And it’s going to take a massive diplomatic effort and a much more significant outreach to the international community than this administration has been willing to engage in.
"Absent that, we will not be successful in Iraq," he said.
What a loser. Kerry still thinks that until the French get involved everything is still is mess. Meanwhile, Iraqis are thanking God that the French and the UN AREN'T involved in their country anymore. I shudder at the thought of this man being president.
Congratulations to the Iraqi People and may your days ahead be brighter and more peaceful!!