Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ripples in the Middle East

Writing in USA Today, Youssef M. Ibrahim watches the ripples expanding from Iraq's successful elections on Sunday.
Regardless of its flaws and how it came about, Iraq's first free election in half a century is a historic event. Among other things, it has given quite a boost to a liberation process underway in the greater Middle East, sending tremors through both ruled and rulers.

Strange how one day's event can touch so many, even those outside Iraq. But it did not come from nowhere. To autocratic regional despots, the rush to vote by millions of trapped, terrorized and occupied Iraqis was a closure to tired arguments. The despots have never held an honest-to-God election, and now this embarrassing model sits there, across the border, in a major Arab nation.

In one fell swoop, this upset has brought to a halt years of despots' arrogant posturing toward Iraqis or hiding of domestic shortcomings behind missteps of the Americans and Israelis in Iraq and Palestine. Iraqis today stand like a phoenix amid the rubble of mediocre governance and corrupt autocracies.

As for the ruled, what can be gleaned from a quick harvest of views are early signs of separating profound dislikes of President Bush and his Middle East policies from the man's ability to deliver to their Iraqi Arab brethren a home run on human rights. It's like damn G.W. Bush, but, with a wink, also long live G.W. Bush.

Thanks to intensive satellite coverage aimed at a television-driven culture, some 200 million Arabs watched at homes, clubs and coffee shops, aghast at how wrong they may have gotten some of the Iraq equation. American occupation or not, their Iraqi brethren left no doubt that they were thrilled. They flocked to voting stations in Basra, Mosul and Baghdad and to polling centers set up abroad for expatriate Iraqis in Syria, Jordan and Iran to choose a government.


Sam at Hammorabi, a man who has been tirelessly blogging for the last year through all the good times and bad times, gives thanks.
On behalf of all Iraqis who joined the election and challenged the terrorists by their blood (some have been killed) we express our sincere thanks to all of our friends who sent messages and emails. The souls of those who have been killed among the Iraqis during their way for election are also with you for special thanks.

We decided to challenge the terrorists who threatened to wash the streets of Iraq with our blood. We said (see my article before the election) that let them send their dogs to suck our bones we care not!

We challenged them and we knew we may die and some of us wear their shrouds and voted in a civilised way with out problems.


Jason Van Steenwyk at Countercolumn abandons the Grey Lady halfway across the pedestrian walk at the corner of Broadway and 34th Street. Oh-oh. Here's come a fleet of yellow taxis!
Millions of Iraqis voted today...
...and all I want to do is track down those 'nadless nailbiters at the New York Times editorial board and others who argued that we should postpone the Iraqi elections until there were no "security problems, and kick them in the teeth.

Pathetic losers.

Never let them live that down.


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