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Iraq Glass Half Full or Half Empty

I don't care which side of the political fence you are on or whether or not you supported continuing the war on terror into Iraq, everyone should admit that what is happing today in Iraq is incredibly good news.

Unless you are a bitter no good member of the media. And it is clear that some members of the media accpt that this is an historic day and others are just bitter partisan losers.

Our pride, by first Iraqis to vote

Official tells of 'jubilant' mood among Iraqi ex-pats

(CNN) -- In Syria on Friday, an Iraqi expatriate, voting in the nation's first free elections in more than half a century, said he felt "as if I've just been born."

In London, an Iraqi woman called it "the best thing I have actually ever done in my life." And in Australia, the first person in the world to cast a ballot in the elections described himself as "very excited, very happy."

"Happy because I vote -- the first time in our life we were allowed to vote for a democratic government," Shimon Haddad told CNN. As manager of the biggest voting center in Australia, he voted about 15 minutes before the polls officially opened at 7 a.m. (2000 GMT Thursday) in Sydney. ...

"I'm really so much excited about this because this is election -- and we never really have it all our life, said Layla al-Jawad, voting in Detroit. ...

"Some people have traveled 20 hours" to vote, he said. "There is a great interest in this process." ...

"It's the greatest day in my life, the greatest feeling ever in my life," said Montador Almosawi in Southgate, Mich. "My feeling is that I'm doing something for my country. And we always say that distance of 1,000 miles starts with one step --and that's the biggest step we're doing right now." ...

"I am lost for words," said Hassan. "I am 49 years old, but I feel as if I've just been born."

Maaksoud said he felt like "a new human."

Huge choice

Outside a polling site in London, 19-year-old Zaineb Field told CNN, "I must say it was the best thing I have actually ever done in my life. ... People were clapping, so emotional, you feel like you want to cry." ...

"This is democracy in the making. This is freedom in the making," said Ghanim al-Shibli, Iraq's ambassador to Australia. "The Iraqi people are experiencing and tasting freedom. This is something tremendous -- just give you goose pimples."

Reactions like this were predicted by some of the more enlightened pundits around.

Democracy finds hope in Iraqi town

KARMA, Iraq (CNN) -- The concept of democracy appears to have taken root in the dusty town of Karma, a predominantly Sunni community of 75,000 people about nine miles (15 kilometers) northeast of Falluja. ...

Heck even Christiane Amanpour admits it isn't all bad news....

Women gain attention in Iraqi elections

Candidates in some cities are protected by U.S. forces

(CNN) -- As the Iraqi elections near, women are changing the face of politics.

On TV women are encouraged to not only vote, but participate. Election organizers have mandated that 25 percent of the candidates in next week's elections be women. ...

In Najaf, under the protection of 200 U.S. and Iraqi forces, candidates appealed for votes Tuesday. Six women from the main two political blocs met with reporters in the Shiite holy city 85 miles (136 kilometers) south of Baghdad.

Veiled and wearing the black abaya, the candidates stood at a podium in front of a wall on which a copy of the U.N. declaration of human rights was hanging.

"We are under occupation," said Anwar Uboud-Ali from the Loyalty to Najaf bloc. "We want this election to elect a government that beefs up the Iraqi security forces and tells the Americans thank you for what have done and now leave."

"I am running as a candidate to defend the poor and raise the plight of the dispossessed," Uboud-Ali says. "I am talking about a class that has nothing."

Candidate Faliha Kathem Hassan said the Baathist government executed three members of her family.

"I want to help balance the repression of Saddam by running for office," she said.

And then there's this:

Will women be the biggest losers?

NEW YORK Come election time in Iraq, remember Wijdan al-Khuzai. Her violent death is a brutal warning that although Iraq's Sunnis are said to have the most to lose, it is in fact women, from all sects, who could be the biggest losers of the Iraqi election.

The body of Khuzai, an election candidate running on a secular platform, was found near her house on Dec. 25. Khuzai was determined to overcome what she described as the strict social and religious curbs on women in Iraq.

The sons of two other female candidates have been killed to punish their mothers for their electoral ambitions, and another female candidate was kidnapped and released only after her family paid a ransom.

Even female candidates who have been more overtly religious have not been spared. Earlier this month, Salama al-Khafaji, a prominent female Shiite candidate escaped assassination when her bodyguards returned fire at gunmen who ambushed her car. It was the second attempt on her life since May, when her son and one of her bodyguards were killed in an ambush of her convoy.

The invasion of Iraq could never be dedicated to the liberation of the country's women in the way the war in Afghanistan was. Iraq did not have the Taliban's hated misogynists, and for long periods, Iraqi women had enjoyed rights their Arab sisters could only dream of.

Democracy isn't worth dying for, woman were better off under Saddam Hussien.

And you have to almost admire whoever wrote this next headline, it really is hard to be this big an idiot.

Zarqawi may be hated but so are the Americans

Grimy, rubbish-strewn Zarqa's sole claim to fame is that it is the home town of the most bloodthirsty terrorist on the loose in Iraq.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, drunkard and thug turned born-again jihadist, is doing everything in his power to wreck the elections in Iraq.

Yesterday, expatriate Iraqis turned up at a heavily protected polling centre in the Jordanian town's main school to defy Zarqawi and his ilk and to declare their faith in their country's future.

"I'm here because voting is going to change things for the better," said Mohammed Hussein, 22, who left southern Iraq for Jordan two years ago. "Zarqawi is a criminal and a terrorist."

Another young voter, Massen Ali, chipped in: "If we find him we'll cut him to pieces. We alone can liberate our country."

Zarqawi, of course, is not Iraqi but Jordanian. He is a lower-class member of the important Bani Hassan tribe whose area borders Iraq and who are among the Hashemite monarchy's biggest supporters.

According to legend, after a dissolute adolescence he underwent a transcendental conversion and went to fight in Afghanistan.

On his return he was jailed by the Jordanians. After an amnesty, he returned to Afghanistan before travelling to northern Iraq to join a Sunni terrorist group.

Zarqawi's foreignness and appalling methods make it easy for Iraqis to hate him. "No one from our country could do something like that," they say. That does not mean that they disagree with his ultimate goal of driving the Americans out.

Voters see no contradiction in the fact that the American soldiers who made the election possible are the same people they are most eager to see the back of.

I guess you can only get so much mileage from liberating 20 million people and converting a brutal dictatorship to a [struggling] democracy.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Iraq Glass Half Full or Half Empty:

» Jeff Blogworthy.com linked with Credit where credit is due

» Truth. Quante-fied. linked with Iraq Election Coverage - (Un)Fair and (Un)Balanced

» PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science linked with Today's Iraqi Election Round-Up

» Secure Liberty linked with Zarqawi Arrests

Comments (21)

I noticed something interes... (Below threshold)

I noticed something interesting about the current meme on Iraqi women the other day. Before 9-11, some Dem Congresswoman (who's name I forgot) got in front of the Congress in a burkha and made a speech about the plight of Afghani women. From my memory, she did get a decent amount of play in the media. Now, the media and the Dems want the Iraqi women to stay hidden under an ideological burkha, so to speak.

What a difference a few years (and a presidential election) make.

"never have so many owed so... (Below threshold)
ridgerunner:

"never have so many owed so much to so few".
God Bless our service men and women. What you have done is already a monument to the human spirit and our nation is honored by your service and sacrifice. Our enemies (terrorist and fellow travelers) are shamed to dishonor by you. God Bless You All!

Excellent use of quotation ... (Below threshold)

Excellent use of quotation marks to make a word suspect:

Official tells of 'jubilant' mood among Iraqi ex-pats

Could have been even more effective in the title:

Our pride, by first Iraqis to 'vote'

Oh, yeah, the subtle artistic shadings of language.

This is FANTASTIC NEWS. Tha... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

This is FANTASTIC NEWS. Thanks to our armed forces liberating them and risking THEIR lives, a people are now FREE!

I just hope they vote wisely, for a good leader and govt and one which we can work with to bring more freedom and happyness to the Iraqi people!

I also hope not too many die as the insurgents try to stop FREEDOM IN THE MAKING!

But as always, PEOPLE MUST DIE for FREEDOM TO FLOURISH!

Boy, is this weekend going ... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:

Boy, is this weekend going to be a good litmus test for the MSM. Everyone should pay attention to how many explosions are highlighted vs. the number of smiles in Iraq that show up on American news television.

In the ongoing theme of Blogging becoming a media establishment, this weekend will help clarify if that idea needs deeper examination.

Heard Peter Jennings on the... (Below threshold)
julie:

Heard Peter Jennings on the radio talking to a local ABC affiliate. He plugged his special report to be broadcast Saturday from Abu Ghraib.

Every human being deserves ... (Below threshold)

Every human being deserves freedom and democracy.

God bless the Iraqi elections.

Those gloom-and-doom Dumboc... (Below threshold)
minnie:

Those gloom-and-doom Dumbocrat media sellouts are just trying to make the free, peaceful elections in sound bad, like Iraqis are fearful and under siege. President Ghazi al-Yawer is just as traitorous, cause he is also spreading their lies that the violence and insurgent threats will keep large numbers of Iraqis from going to the polls.

Why don't they ever point out that it's really not bad at all if you don't leave the Green Zone? Just wait, once we capture Uday and Kusay, all of these "dead-enders" will lay down their arms, and then they'll see how wrong they were.

Why don't they ever poin... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:

Why don't they ever point out that it's really not bad at all if you don't leave the Green Zone?

You aren't serious right? There was a rocket that hit the US embassy a short time ago as reported by Reuters. These terrorists would have a better chance of rolling three Yahtzees in a row than actually hitting their target with one of these things. Do they care if one goes astray and hits civilians? No.

So it's dangerous going over there anywhere you are, but this upcoming vote is what it's all about. People will go to vote anyway in spite of the danger.

I've been listening to the ... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

I've been listening to the radio, reading reports about this all week. reporters are asking shiites, sunnis, kurds what they think of the election, democracy, and what will happen.

i heard an interview of a sunni woman who now lives in michigan. she voted yesterday, and talked about who she voted for. her choice was the party that was more inclusive of all people. and she talked about her son (i think) who is in baghdad, and that he is going to vote regardless of the terrorists, that he isnt scared.

i have heard quite a few reports of sunnis changing their minds, and deciding to take part. thats a good development.

another interview this morning was with an iraqi candidate who was very realistic about the elections, the problems, and the necessity for going ahead. he was clear in his desire to begin the process of democracy in iraq. democracy would be a learning process for iraqis was what he said.

anyway...i agree with your sentiments here paul. going from living under hussein for decades to casting ballots is most definitely a good thing for iraqi people.

I thought saddam's sons wer... (Below threshold)

I thought saddam's sons were dead ;-)

I also thought minnie, the little troll here (a term originating from usenet), was gone, too, looks like minnie is back.

I do not know where you liv... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

I do not know where you live but there are a large number of American "leaders" that think what is happening is bad. I will only list a few of the more "respected" :JFK, star of tommorow's bash America news show; Ted. K; Babs Boxer; and Nancy Pelosi House leader of the Dems. If asked for I can name more names.

I find that I am on pins an... (Below threshold)
Elisa:

I find that I am on pins and needles, same as I was for the US presidential election. I pray for all the best for the Iraqi people. Every person who goes to the polls shows the power of freedom and the strength and resolve of the Iraqi people.

Does anyone know of any live-blogging of the Iraqi election?

I find that I am on pins... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:

I find that I am on pins and needles, same as I was for the US presidential election

Me too. I can't belive that democracy rolls on in the face of sheer disgust, bullshit from the US leadership (As Rod Stanton points out - thank you Teddy Kennedy), liberal blogs that don't have shit happening (except for discussion about Cheney's parka) and an Iraqi city full of the sounds of violence showing up on our Television news.

I almost feel guilty that it only took me all of about 9 minutes for me to leave my house, go vote and get back to my living room on election day after work. I guess that I shouldn't - and feel proud instead.

It's really great to make comments in a blog where you can read other positive thoughts and not have to put up with about a 10 to 1 flames in reply from a bunch of bitter liberal suckholes.

Continued success to Kevin, J, and Paul. This blog is "sticky", and the folks that it has attracted are cool in my book. Way to be guys.

The elections have s... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:


The elections have started in the Iraqi homeland (live blogging, I don't know).

CNN covering polling location where "election workers not showing up 15 minutes after elections scheduled to start". Of course. Although I was expecting to see yet another crying Mother of one of our fallen.

Fox trying to get Geraldo to stop fidgeting for 5 minutes. They are also showing some folks getting cramps in their hands filling out the Iraqi ballot.

CNN suddenly talking about ... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:

CNN suddenly talking about the Arab media coverage being optomistic. Shitheels.

They also say Al Jazeera banned from reporting from Iraq. (but somehow, they get exclusive video on beheadings).

I knew this would happen - the day comes and all of those who questined this election all the way have now come to terms with what is happening.

^ CNN just coupled the word... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:

^ CNN just coupled the words "vicious" and "insurgency" in the same sentence. These elections aren't just changing things in Iraq and it's really fascinating. Now if we could just get Kennedy to go ahead and pass out...

- Kennedy will end up on th... (Below threshold)

- Kennedy will end up on the political junkheap laying on his face in his own excrement, arm around a brass spittoon, in some bar hellhole in Revere beach....

- One of the more interesting things, not withstanding Geraldo's effusive over-the top gushing and Rita's motor mouth, he interviewed a fem from the Iraqi consolate who of course was properly proud, excited and openly elated... She mentioned that the explostions and small arms fire scattered around Baghdad is the death rattle of the Jihadist terrorists....Iraqi's were saying no to terror and yes to self determination and rejecting the violence of the Al Qa'eda extremists....

- Even more interesting she mentioned she had been following all of the news outlets in the middle east, including Al jazeera, and she said they have all changed their tune and for the past two weeks the tone has changed from anti-American to openly stating that the establishment of Democracy in Iraq would spread throughout the middle east and mark the beginning of the end for terrorism in time.....

- Susan Ostritch on FOX yammering on even now about WMD's....Jesse Jackson referring to selma in the same sentence as he predicts doom and gloom in Iraq (makes you wonder if this guy even knows what went on down there in those days)...How can people say such ludicrous things with a somber serious face....I think the Democrats are going to drive their ass right over the cliff....they can't seem to help themselves......They sound like Chamberlain...."Peace in our time" even as Hitler was planning the envasions in Europe... People are not going to forget the Liberals and what they did during this period.....2006 is just around the bend....

Those brave women put me to... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Those brave women put me to shame. I had complained loudly when I was inconvenienced by trying to find a parking place, standing in line for 30 minutes, fishing in my purse for my voter registration card, and having to sort through three or four referenda on the voting machine to finally punch the vote button.

How silly those things seem now.

Hopefully, after seeing all... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Hopefully, after seeing all these happy women voting - all 8.000 of them - next time they'll be a lot more.

Cindy

"born again jihadist"... (Below threshold)
Jewels:

"born again jihadist"

Nice touch. Pretty little dig at those evil, scary christians. Even if they don't have anything to do with the topic for the article, it's good to get your punches in when you can, right?




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