Sunday, January 30, 2005

Iraqi Elections

Everyone is reporting solid turnout in the Iraqi elections, with millions of people turning out to vote for the Parliament that will take responsibility for writing the country's Constitution and representing them in the immediate future. They came, they went into voting booths, and they cast ballots to signify their preferences, preferences which we can assume will shortly be transferred into action as those chosen assume their offices. There were threats of violence, and many feared rivers of blood due to terrorist attacks, but they still came. There was cynicism as many claimed the U.S. would rig the elections, but they still came. They had to get their finger inked when some have threatened to kill anyone who voted, but they still came.

This triumph is marred by the boycott in the Sunni regions, but that these elections were a triumph cannot be disputed. It is a triumph for the Iraqis who voted, asserting their right to control their own destiny, for the soldiers and civilian volunteers who helped organize the protect the polls, and for the values on which these United States were founded and to which people across the political spectrum subscribe. Long after President Bush is gone, we can look back and praise the brave men and women of this day, and say that at this, their moment, they represented us well. In the coming days and weeks I will undoubtedly find myself highlighting many problems with Iraq's trajectory and our ability to defeat the insurgency. But this is a day worth celebrating. In Iraq, freedom was on the march, and I'm proud that this country had its back.


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