Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Iraq Votes

The first woman director in the history of American film making to win the Oscar and it was for a war movie. "The Hurt Locker" is a story of the Iraq war and a soldier who detonates bombs. It is fitting that it happens as the Iraqi officials are counting the votes from their national election. It is ironic that Barbra Streisand presented the award to her, as she failed to win this award herself and also since Streisand is of the far left "Bush's War" crowd. And, then the award winner went on to thank the troops not once but twice. Priceless.

The brave and stalwart people of Iraq did not knuckle under to threats from those wishing that democracy not move forward and came out to vote. Thirty-eight people lost their lives from attacks but the polling places were secure and the attacks were not there. The election stats are impressive - 19 million voters; 50,000 polling stations; 6,200 candidates; 325 parliamentary seats and 86 parties. In a Wall Street Journal online article by Bret Stephens, he points to the fact that "in the run-up to the vote, the general view among Iraqis and foreign observers alike was that the outcome was "too close to call". Linger over the words: "Too close to call" has never before been part of the Arab political lexicon." That in reference to the 2002 'election' of Saddam Hussein, his last as president of Iraq, when it was reported that Saddam won the election 11,445,638 to 0.

The voters refused to be intimidated. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton both issued statements of congratulation to Iraqis. This, too, smacked of irony. You will remember that these two were running for the Democrat nomination to run for President of the U.S. and came up with publicly going along with the MoveOn.org campaign against the surge strategy that turned around the direction of the Iraq war. They were willing participants in the "General Betrayus" campaign as General Petraeus came to D.C. to explain the surge strategy at the time. The display by them and their fellow Democrats was truly despicable and purely political.

Obama appeared in the Rose Garden without a tie and VP Biden was standing just to his side. Biden, also historically wrong on Iraq as he once called for splitting up the country into three territories, at least was properly attired. U.S. Ambassador Hill, a former Bush appointed diplomat, now ambassador to Iraq, said, "Well, obviously this is a very important election for Iraq's democracy. It will help set the tone for what kind of country Iraq will be for many years to come. They will put together a government very soon and they will reach out and get different coalitions. And for the United States, this election in something on which we will base a new relationship with Iraq. We are looking for a broad-based relationship with Iraq, one that involves economics, one that involves politics, one that involves regional understandings of things. So this is a really very important time for Iraq and I think the Iraqi people really understood that and really stepped up to the occasion."

According to CNN.com: "The general feeling expressed by voters on election day was a longing for change and for a government that will be able to provide basic things such as water, electricity, jobs and security." A woman who said her name was Ghisoun is quoted - "It's an opportunity we can't miss -- not for us, but for our children."

The high percentage of eligible voters that turned out to vote puts our country's voter history to shame. Grateful hope for a brighter future is strong motivation. American voters could take the lesson from this recent Iraqi election.

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