Thursday, December 15, 2005
Rock the Vote
It seemed like a city-wide block party. Iraqis came to the polls chanting, waving flags and singing. Bingo and I have been in the city of Ubadie for the past few days conducting explosive sweeps through the girl's school where the voting will take place. Since I have been here in Iraq, I have not heard celebration such as what I witnessed yesterday. It was a surreal atmosphere. At one time, I looked at one of the Iraqi soldiers and asked him "Are they happy?", as a flag waving throng made their way down one of the streets of the city. "Yes. They say 'Long live Iraq' and 'Today is a great day for all Iraq', he responded as he thrust his ink stained finger in the air. It was indeed a great day for all of us.
There was never a break in the voting line which snaked through razor wire and checkpoints. As it has been reported elsewhere, the Iraqi people exited the school waving their ink-stained finger and singing in Arabic. There would be no cowering to insurgents on this day as entire families either walked or took the bus shuttle service to the polls. Yesterday's voting was the greatest blow to the insurgency to date. I say this for two reasons. First, the Iraqi people, through their overwhelming display of national solidarity and determination, have told the insurgency that they are no longer afraid. Second, yesterday's voting told the coalition forces that we are doing things as they should be done and it strengthened our commitment and resolve. In addition, I think that the Iraqi's understand and appreciate the fact that they are choosing the leaders of their country. More and more everyday, they are realizing that America is not attempting to establish a puppet government here in their country, but we are giving the Iraqi nationals the opportunity to establish a legitimate ruling body for themselves.
As I have said all along, we are doing the right things here in Iraq and yesterday's voter turnout was yet another indication of this fact. "American Success In Iraq"...stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mr. Kerry, Mr. Murtha, Mr. Dean. Get used to the headline gentlemen, because I guarantee you it won't be the last time you see it!