The Daily Demarche
Sunday, January 30, 2005
"This is the first day I feel freedom."
The idea of an election is much more interesting to me than the election itself...The act of voting is in itself the defining moment. Jeff Melvoin

It will be a while before we know exactly how many Iraqis braved the threats of the murderous "insurgents" and turned out to vote, but estimates are 70%+. Do you know what percentage of Americans voted in our recent "critical" election? Less than 60%. I am both heartened for the people of Iraq and ashamed for our poor turnout. We beat our breast and rend our hair, then fail to vote in safety and security.

Today is a day for successes, however. The headlines tell it all:

Iraqis brave bombs to vote in their millions: From Basra to Mosul, voters confound expectations: BAGHDAD, Iraq - Millions of Iraqis turned out to vote on Sunday, defying anti-U.S. insurgents determined to drown the historic poll in blood.

I only have one quibble with that- the "insurgents" are anti-Iraqi, anti-democracy and anti-freedom every bit as much as, if not more than, they are anti-American.

'This Is Democracy' Say Delighted Iraqis Quotes from voters and observers on the Iraqi National Assembly elections : This is democracy," said Fathiya Mohammed, an elderly woman who voted in the small town of Askan south of Baghdad. "This is the first day I feel freedom."

Attacks fail to stop voting: Baghdad - Iraqis turned out to vote on Sunday in their country's first free election in a half-century, defying insurgents who launched deadly suicide bombings and mortar strikes at polling stations.

And for our friends visiting from the left:

'What a bloody charade': By Robert Fisk Baghdad - In Baghdad on Saturday they were supposed to be preparing for an election. But they were preparing for war.

It is of course too early to say what exactly this means, except for one thing: terror has lost in Iraq. There will be more violence, of that I am sure, but the extremists have been sent a powerful message by their fellow countrymen: We are not afraid of you, you can not deny us.

To the voters in Iraq, I salute you. I offer you my heartfelt congratulations, and pay honor to your courage and convictions. Much remains to be done, but know today that all who voted cast a vote not just for the leaders of Iraq, but for the future. We'll be there beside you as long as you need and want our help.

Sleep well tonight, my friends and heroes.

(end of post)

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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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