Now that the polls in Iraq have closed, it looks as if the elections have been a surprising, heartening and resounding success. No doubt that the future is not yet secure for the Iraqi people, but this is a huge blow against the terror forces and for the march of democracy.
Over at IEDs, Stephen links to Yahoo's slide show of the election throughout the country.
I have been nervous leading up to this day. When I woke up and turned on the tube, one of the first faces I saw was that of Dan Senor, former CPA adviser. He had about him a kind of weary smile that said without words that the election was going far better than had been expected. A dense of relief seemed to permeate his commentary.
I have been tooling around the Internet to see what Iraqis were saying.
From Iraq the Model:
We had all kinds of feelings in our minds while we were on our way to the ballot box except one feeling that never came to us, that was fear.
We could smell pride in the atmosphere this morning; everyone we saw was holding up his blue tipped finger with broad smiles on the faces while walking out of the center.
I couldn't think of a scene more beautiful than that.
From the early hours of the morning, People filled the street to the voting center in my neighborhood; youths, elders, women and men. Women's turn out was higher by the way. And by 11 am the boxes where I live were almost full!
Anyone watching that scene cannot but have tears of happiness, hope, pride and triumph.
From Ali at Free Iraqi:
I'm still thrilled as I'm watching Iraqis vote allover Iraq through TV. Al Arabyia just reported that 6 thousand people in Fallujah have voted till now out of 60 thousands who have returned to their homes (total not voters). I listened to that and I felt enormous admiration and respect to those 6 thousand heroes. Things are difficult in Baghdad but it's still incomparable to Fallujah. I'm sure that the number will rise towards the end of the day.
I'm stil overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions that I don't know what to say more. The only things I can feel so strongly now are hope, excitement, pride and a strange internal peace. I have won my battle and I'm watching the whole Iraqis winning their battle too. I'll try to write to you later my friends.
A'ash Al Iraq, A'ashat America, A'ash Al Tahaluf. (Long live Iraq, long live America and long live the coalition)
Yes, I know. I have picked sites that I happen to agree with. So sue me. I have little tolerance today for those who would sneer at this historic and grand day. This is a huge victory for the people of Iraq and for all those throughout the world who wish to govern themselves. So let other sites talk of attacks and casualties. Let other bloggers write that these elections will mean nothing because the violence will not instantly stop and beside, this is just another US manipulation and it was all about the oil.
Today I will not utter one syllable of negativity. There may be facts, such as how many people have been injured or killed, what's going on with the British C-130, and so on. I see this day not as a turning point, not as the start of a whole new era, but as a day that we will look back on in the coming years and say this was were the world began to realize the overpowering goodness of the human yearning to be free and to determine one's own place in the community of free people.
Congratulations and best wishes to the people of Iraq.