Liberal Bush Hater and blogger Jeff Simmermon goes to the Iraqi ex-pat polls and has a life-changing experience …

See Simmermon’s piece at his blog http://www.andiamnotlyingforreal.blogspot.com

and his report at
http://andiamnotlyingforreal.blogspot.com/2005/01/like-millions-of-iraqis-i-made-long.html

We will be seeing more of this–keep your eyes and ears open for surprising statements from people you never expected to hear it from.

Also, more voices from Iraq…

From BBCArabic.com: I have this to say to those who keep repeating the phrase “no elections under occupation”. I am an election observer and will take part in the count. It is we who decide if the elections conducted properly and we have said that the elections were indeed conducted in fair manner. The elections in Iraq were much better than any other elections held in other Arab countries. Our problem here does not stem from the occupation but from some Arab countries which export terrorism to Iraq. … Haider, Basra, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: I voted for a new Iraq. I voted so that mass graves are never again seen in Iraq. I voted so that the tragedy of Halabja is not repeated. I voted so that dictatorship can never get a foothold again. I voted to kick out terror from my country. I voted so that the occupation can end. I have a word to my Arab brothers: record 30 Jan 2005 in history. It was a turning point. We have had enough of these ruling families, the one party state and the one and only Leader. On 9th April 2003 the monument to dictatorship was toppled in Baghdad. On 30th January 2005, terrorism was dealt a blow and reason triumphed over the bullet. … Khalid Arikabi, Baghdad, Iraq

I am fed up with the stupid analysis of non-Iraqis about the legitimacy of the elections. Yes, the elections in Iraq are legal and representative. If you don’t believe me, then look at the happy faces of Iraqis who have voted. The people of Iraq have spoken. Iraq will not be the first country that holds elections under occupation or under the shadow of violence (examples like Palestine, Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor, Germany, Austria, Japan, Sri Lanka and Columbia come to mind) nor will it be the last. … Mohammad al Zubaidy, Iraq

Yes, it will be a success. Why not? Aren’t we human just like anyone in the West? Or is it because we are Iraqis that people doubt our ability to practice democracy. What amazes me is that many so-called intellectuals, liberals, use years of cultural oppression and deprivation from self-thinking by the Saddam regime as a justification for the eminent failure of democracy in Iraq. Yes, we have had 35 years of built-in political ignorance and destruction of our civil institutions, but did we give up? Never! We campaigned, lobbied and allied ourselves with a super power to get rid of dictatorship for the sake of democracy! Isn’t this in itself a success? Our success has started long time ago, and there is no one who can stop it! Try to put the chains back on a freed slave again! He will fight like hell. … Suhaib Ahmed, Kirkuk-Iraqi

But not everyone was happy …

“It is hard to say that something is legitimate when whole portions of the country can’t vote and doesn’t vote,” says Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

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