January 30th, 2005


Iraqis give terrorism the finger

The Iraqi elections have been held. The intimidation has raged for weeks; posters were put up -- by Zarqawi's Al Qaeda group, or by Baathists -- depicting headless bodies with ink-stained fingers. The message: if you vote, we'll saw your head off. (The Iraqis are guarding against multiple votes by dying voters' fingers with indelible ink.)

What's the Iraqi reaction?

This. And this. And this. And... um, well, go here and keep scrolling until you get to his pictures from today. Also, check out Friends of Democracy, with Iraqi correspondents -- or turn on C-Span now until about 4:00 PM; they're scheduled to be on. (It's actually being set up as an Arabic-language free blogging tool, and its English content is translated from the Arabic.) Or check out Jeff Jarvis, known for his work in entertainment journalism; on his blog, he's posting links and round-ups of Iraqi bloggers' commentary.

Turnout is reportedly extremely high, higher than in *our* last election -- which, as one American on the ground over there commented, should be embarrassing because we can't get that many people to the polls when nobody is trying to kill us. The turnout seems to have increased over the course of the day, with long lines were reported at some polls late in the afternoon. Only common sense; the terrorists in Iraq stage most of their operations in the morning, in order to be sure they make the evening news in the States.

I don't care how anybody feels about the war, or the administration; when you see a 90-year-old Kurdish woman beaming as she's trundled to cast the first vote of her life in a wheelbarrow, you're gonna crack a smile.

This is a great day for the Iraqi people. It's not a bad one for America, either.