has a great photo from Iraq of some men who had just voted. I have been watching CNN, et al, for the past half hour or so and the coverage, predictably, is awful. All the reports from Iraq start with the violence (relatively limited) and then how many polling places were never opened (a few) and then mentions finally how the number of people voting seems to be much higher than everyone expected. They sometimes mention that Iraqis are happy and there is a party-like atmosphere (one reporter said similar to a wedding) around voting booths. The few such reports that I saw, including some interviews with voters, were very moving. The official Iraqi estimates are that about 70% have voted, which would be tremendous. Almost all the reporters I have seen are saying that the turnout is higher than expected. I did see an interview with a UN election official on FOX News (maybe named Valenzuela, can’t remember), and his report was quite optimistic and informative; he gave special thanks to the election commission and the thousands who were working the polls. He claimed to be very impressed. It is going to be hard to argue that this election was not a success. Even Reuters
is admitting that the brave Iraqis have spoken with a loud voice: Even in Falluja, the devastated Sunni city west of Baghdad that was a militant stronghold until a U.S. assault in November, a slow stream of people turned out, confounding expectations.
A member of the Electoral
Commission was exultant and said: Freedom has won. We have conquered terrorism.