Here are snippets of what Iraqis had to say about the vote:
"We broke a barrier of fear," said Mijm Towirish, an election official.
"I am doing this because I love my country, and I love the sons of my nation," said Shamal Hekeib, 53, who walked with his wife 20 minutes to a polling station near his Baghdad home."We are Arabs, we are not scared and we are not cowards," Hekeib said.
"Now I feel that Saddam is really gone," said Fatima Ibrahim, smiling as she headed home after voting in Irbil. She was 14 and a bride of just three months when her husband, father and brother were rounded up in a campaign of ethnic cleansing under Saddam. None have ever been found.
"This is a clear and loud message that Iraqis inside and outside are united in defeating terrorism," Mansour Ibrahim said as he entered a voting center amid tight security in the upscale Suwfiya neighborhood in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
"It is the first time we've been allowed to vote. For us, for our lives, it is very important," said Rana Al-Mudhaffar, 52, who left Iraq in 1980. She and her 24-year-old daughter, Sana, traveled three hours from the eastern state of Thuringia to cast ballots. "We're hoping a democratic government will bring peace and stability to Iraq."
And now for some Sandmonkey election commentary:
Yesterday, after I went home from work, I decided to check out the satellite news channels to see what they were saying about the Iraqi elections. Trying to be as objective as a sandmonkey can be, I decided to ignore Al Hurrah, because as you all know they are US-funded and therefore, by APU rules
, they must be lying crazy zionist jewish american imperialist capitalist dogs. I therefore chose to focus my attention on 3 channels: Al Jazeerah
, Al Arabiyah
and Al Manar
. All of them are arab channels and Al Manar is actually funded and operated by Hizballah. If there was anywhere where I can escape the American Zionist media, its those 3 channels.
I first put Al Jazeerah on, and to my surprise they didn’t have any election coverage on. At the moment. They were having some sort of religious talk show, where, I shit you not, a veiled anchorwoman was interviewing this sheikh about what islam says about notions of individualism and personal freedom. It had all the excitement of watching pain dry people, especially since he didn’t say anything I didn’t hear a million times before :” individualism should be limited, so is personal freedom. Everything should have its limit…blah blah blah” BOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRING! So I decided to switch to al arabiyah instead.
Al Arabiyah actually had some good election coverage on. First they had a Syrian MP who went on to praise the democracy in iraq and how it’s a good first step for the stability of iraq, and then they had an American professor who informed them that the elections is good news for the Iraqis but bad news for Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi, Syria, Jordan, UAE..at which point they had to shut him down. They then proceeded to talk about how this was a historic day with all the big turnout and stuff. Soo it wasn’t bad at all.
Al Manar was the big surprise. Figuring that its Hizballah TV and all ( read my post on it here
) I figured they might talk about the illegitimate elections and the “brave Iraqi resistance” and stuff, but they didn’t. They were reporting from Baghdad, where an Iraqi election official was reporting the voter turnout by district, and the news anchor commentary went like this : “ As you can see, despite all of the bombing and the threats and the danger, Iraqi voters were not deterred to come and vote. Their love for their country, and their desire to rebuild a new free democratic iraq made them overcome their fear and vote. This is a great day for Iraq and for its people”. Even Hizballah TV thought the elections were a good thing and congratulated the Iraqi people for it. Screw you Raed Jarrarr
and all of your ilk.