From FOXNews.com - U.S. & World. Amid less violence than expected, a nation rises from the ashes:
An Iraqi election official said that 72 percent of eligible Iraqi voters had turned out so far nationwide. The official, Adel al-Lami of the Independent Electoral Commission, offered no overall figures of the actual number of Iraqis who have voted to back up the claim.
This is a very preliminary figure for the percentage of participants, but nevertheless, LOOK at it! Even with al-Zarqawi's threat to make the streets run with blood, the courage of the Iraqi people came forward, and they voted!
I am in tears with excitement and joy for them! What an awesome example for Americans, who are so indifferent in our elections.
Thank God for this brave country!
Update - Reactions from Iraqi bloggers:
the Mesopotamian " People are turning up not only under the present threat to polling stations but also under future threats to themselves and their families; yet they are coming, and keep coming. Behold the Iraqi people; now you know their true metal."
Iraq the Model "The first thing we saw this morning on our way to the voting center was a convoy of the Iraqi army vehicles patrolling the street, the soldiers were cheering the people marching towards their voting centers then one of the soldiers chanted "vote for Allawi" less than a hundred meters, the convoy stopped and the captain in charge yelled at the soldier who did that and said:
"You're a member of the military institution and you have absolutely no right to support any political entity or interfere with the people's choice. This is Iraq's army, not Allawi's".
This was a good sign indeed and the young officer's statement was met by applause from the people on the street."
Democracy in Iraq (is coming) "It will be a day forever remembered. My voting was only a simple act, I went, I identified myself, got my finger stained, filled out a ballot, and dropped it in a box. It is not a complex or grand process to the eye, but it is one that I will forever remember and will recount to my children, and their children. And God willing it will be remembered through the ages. "
Free Iraqi "It was my way to scream in the face of all tyrants, not just Saddam and his Ba'athists and tell them, "I don't want to be your, or anyone's slave. You have kept me in your jail all my life but you never owned my soul". It was my way of finally facing my fears and finding my courage and my humanity again."
Hammorabi "Let them bomb and kill us. It will not deter us!
Let them send their dogs to suck our bones. We care not!
Let them bark. It will not frighten us.
Let them see how civilised to be free and democratic!
Let them die by our vote tomorrow! It is the magic bullet which will kill them!"
My friend, Kilo, asks, "Can you hear Iraq now?"
Reuters gets it right: "Some came on crutches, others walked for miles then struggled to read the ballot, but across Iraq, millions turned out to vote Sunday, defying insurgents who threatened a bloodbath. " Go read.
Friends of Democracy has lots of good coverage, too.
Today's Day By Day, by Chris Muir (I love him; he's so good!):
And Chris has another one! (thanks to Michelle Malkin - and I've never seen that picture before LOL)
Jeff, at Beautiful Atrocities, has some excellent quotes.
Superhawk, over at Rightwingnuthouse, has a nice little roundup of the non-reaction of the left. C'mon, liberals! Can't you be happy for Iraq just for a day?
The Anchoress posts this: "Such immense joy! No amount of cynical msm coverage will be able to cast shadows over it. Oh, I pray for these people and their first genuine, free election! God bless them and keep them safe as they go forward to take advantage of the right too many Americans take for granted, or worse, pervert."
She also points to this photo, at Mystery Achievement:
Betsy's Page compares this election to St. Crispen's Day:
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. (Shakespeare's Henry V)
News reports of terrorist bombings in Iraq were marred Sunday by shocking graphic images of Iraqi "insurgents" voting by the millions in their first free democratic election.
Despite reporters' hopes that a well-orchestrated barrage of mortar attacks and suicide bombings would put down the so-called 'freedom insurgency', hastily-formed battalions of rebels swarmed polling places to cast their ballots -- shattering the status quo and striking fear into the hearts of the leaders of the existing terror regime.
Hopes for a return to the stability of tyranny waned as rank upon rank of Iraqi men and women filed out of precinct stations, each armed with the distinctive mark of the new freedom guerrillas -- an ink-stained index finger, which one former Ba'athist called "the evidence of their betrayal of 50 years of Iraqi tradition."
Journalists struggled to put a positive spin on the day's events, but the video images of tyranny's traitors choosing a future of freedom overwhelmed the official story of bloodshed and mayhem.
Last update here tonight - Cox and Forkum get it right:
Egypt has the class to wish Iraq well, as does Kuwait (same link).
Interim Prime Minister Allawi, interviewed by Brian Williams (MSNBC) closed with this: "All the blood which has been spilled, really was spilled, not in vain, but it was all for a very good cause. Without the help of the United States we would not have been able to achieve what we have achieved."
Our President had this to say today:
In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists. They have refused to be intimidated by thugs and assassins. And they have demonstrated the kind of courage that is always the foundation of self-government.
Some Iraqis were killed while exercising their rights as citizens. We also mourn the American and British military personnel who lost their lives today. Their sacrifices were made in a vital cause of freedom, peace in a troubled region, and a more secure future for us all.
The Iraqi people, themselves, made this election a resounding success. Brave patriots stepped forward as candidates. Many citizens volunteered as poll workers. More than 100,000 Iraqi security force personnel guarded polling places and conducted operations against terrorist groups. One news account told of a voter who had lost a leg in a terror attack last year, and went to the polls today, despite threats of violence. He said, "I would have crawled here if I had to. I don't want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me. Today I am voting for peace."
Newspapers around the world: Bahrain Gulf Daily News, the Jamaica Observer, CBC Canada, Arab News (Saudi Arabia), Daily Times (Pakistan), Daily Star (Lebanon), Guardian Unlimited (UK).... Google News has a fair roundup.
Well, that's all for me today. Check out the posts below for some excellent pictures, and one or to other links to commentaries. Good night, and again, God bless Iraq and her brave citizens!