Iraqi Elections, A Huge Success
Anyone with half a brain can see that the Iraqi Elections were a huge success and another political victory for President Bush and the War on Terror. The Iraqi people overwhelmingly came out to vote in support of democracy, and to vote against the terrorist regimes of Al Qaeda and other radical Islamic extremists trying to impose their anti-democratic views on the country.
In spite of the threats against their lives if they showed up at the polls, it is estimated that 60 to 70 percent of eligible Iraqi voters showed up to choose their country’s future. That was the equivalent of the high voter turnout in our own elections last November. Even in the face of over 30 Iraqis being blown to bits by terrorists, they still kept coming and simply detoured around the clean up crews picking up body parts and washing down the streets. Some had walked for miles to get to the polls while other drove 100 miles or more to exercise their new found freedom and right to vote for their elected officials. They came on crutches, they came in wheelchairs, they came anyway the could to participate in their democracy. Every one of them who made the trip to the polls is a testimonial to their support and desire for a free Iraq and a democratic government. Something no Iraqi ever thought they would see until the United States came to town and freed them from Saddam Hussein. If there is any question as to whether or not Iraqis support American action in Iraq, this turn out shows the answer.
As expected, terrorists did all they could to try to stop the elections from succeeding. Eight suicide bombers and at least two car bombs are reported to have killed 32 people, all Iraqis. Fortunately, the car bombs were stopped at the outer perimeter of the security rings and never got near the polls. Suicide bombers got closer but blew themselves up before ever getting inside the polls, usually taking one or two innocent people with them. In one case it was reported that as many as 6 voters were killed while standing outside in line to vote.
Not everyone was pleased to see the success of the voting and were more interested in reporting on the success of the insurgent bombings. No sooner did the first car bomb go off when MSNBC was ready with an email alert in less than five minutes; “Multiple blasts reported in Baghdad as voting begins”. CNN leads with a headline “Iraqis vote amid violence” and the first third of the story leads off with a description of every bombing and terrorist attack they had information on. Other media outlets were more tame and balanced.
John Kerry was not without comment on the Iraqi elections. On “Meet The Press” this morning, a bitter-sounding Sen. John Kerry dismissed the historic Iraqi election warning Americans not to "overhype" the watershed event. "No one in the United States should try to overhype this election. It's hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can't vote and doesn't vote." Asked if he thought Iraq was now less of a terrorist threat, Kerry at first said: "No, it's more. And, in fact, I believe the world is less safe today than it was two and a half years ago." But he changed his answer moments later, after host Tim Russert pressed him on the bizarre claim. "I'm glad Saddam Hussein is gone, and I've said that a hundred times," he insisted. Let’s see, the world is a more dangerous place without Saddam Hussein, but I’m glad he’s gone. Is this making any sense to you? Did Kerry consider Saddam some sort of “peacekeeper” of the world but he‘s glad it‘s a more dangerous place now that Saddam is gone? Sounds like the same doubletalk we heard during the campaign. In a televised statement this morning, Kerry also stated; “The election is not the test of Democracy in Iraq. The real test is what comes later, how well the “international community comes together.” What does the “international community” have to do with this? They had very little to do with bringing this about and in fact, opposed it, if he’s talking about his N.W.O. friends at the U.N. It seems that Mr. Kerry’s views are still the views of an international socialist, and not an American.
Ted (Bozo) Kennedy, who has called the situation in Iraq "George W. Bush's Vietnam" and a “quagmire”, spoke out saying; "While the elections are a step forward, they are not a cure for the growing violence and resentment of the perception of an American occupation ... I continue to believe that the best way to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that we have no long-term designs on their country is for the administration to withdraw some troops now and to begin to negotiate a phase-down of our long-term military presence." It might be wise of Mr. Kennedy to check with the Iraqi leaders to see if they wish us to reduce the security forces we are providing for them before making his asinine statements. This may be the first time in history that free elections have been held in the middle of a “quagmire”.
This election in Iraq was not about electing the country’s leaders, that will come at the end of the year. This election was about deciding a platform and representatives who will draft a new constitution, and plan for an election to fill electoral offices. There were no names on the ballot, but instead the voters voted for a party, an ideology, or a political group. There will not be just one winner in this election but several. Those with the most votes will install their party leaders in the National Assembly and 18 provincial legislature seats. It is expected to include Shea, Sunni, and Kurdish representation but obviously, with Shea only making up 20 percent of the population, and with many of them scared away or refusing to vote, they will no longer be ruling Iraq as they did under Saddam Hussein. The number of representatives from each of the winning parties will be determined by the number of votes that party receives. There are 275 seats to fill on the National Assembly but that may increase before long. It is their goal that everyone be represented according to their public support. Even the insurgents had a platform on the ballot but it’s not likely they received enough votes to make it to the council. The assembly will draw up the country's permanent constitution and will select a president and two deputy presidents, who in turn will name a new prime minister and Cabinet to serve for 11 months until new elections are held.
"The world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East," President Bush told reporters at the White House four hours after the polls closed. "Today, the people of Iraq have spoken to the world and the world has heard the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East," he said, adding that Iraqis firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists and refused to be intimidated by thugs and assassins. "Men and women have taken rightful control of their country's destiny and they have chosen freedom and peace," Bush said.
Condoleezza Rice commented; "Iraqis have taken a huge step forward. And they have hard work ahead of them, but this is a great day for the Iraqi people,"
Iraqi politicians also cast the elections as a huge success. Casting his vote, Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi called it "the first time the Iraqis will determine their destiny."
"We have defeated the terrorists today," Ahmad Chalabi, a secular Shiite who is running for the National Assembly on the United Iraqi Alliance list said.
All in all, most Iraqi’s are overjoyed at their new found freedom and right to vote for someone other than Saddam Hussein. The have been seen dancing in the streets and showing off their ink stained fingers to proudly show they have voted and taken part in the selection of their own government’s elected officials and platform. Despite what the pundits may say, it is truly a great and happy day in Iraq. Iraqis have shown their determination to achieve freedom and democracy by going to the polls in spite of the threats on their lives and the violence that was expected to, and did materialize on the way to the polls.
This is what the Iraq war was all about, this has been the larger goal all along. Those who claim that it was only about WMD have very little understanding of the larger picture and what effect democracy in Iraq will have on the rest of the Middle East and the War on Terror. Terrorists have experienced many military defeats, but this was their first really huge political defeat since they were thrown out of Afghanistan. As Islamics turn toward freedom and democracy they turn away from terrorism, that is the plan that President Bush has undertaken. I would remind those opposed to the war that American freedom wasn’t won by negotiating with France to talk Britain into submission, it was won the only way it could be, with the Revolutionary War. There is a revolution going on in the Middle East today and revolutions require war to succeed. Some people will never get it because they don’t’ understand the objective.
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