Iraqis Turnout, Continue March towards Democracy

59% in January, 64% in October, 70-80% Turnout Expected Today in Iraq!

A nation awakes from a long and very dark slumber.

AZ AZUBAYR, IRAQ – DECEMBER 15: An extended family walks through a heavy morning fog to vote in parliamentary elections on December 15, 2005 in Az Azubayr, Iraq. High numbers of Iraqis turned out to cast their ballots for a national parliament due to serve for the next four years. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

TERRIFIC TURNOUT AS IRAQIS VOTE IN HISTORIC ELECTION,
BBC VIDEO HERE

The best reports today are from the men in Iraq…

Who better than Omar and Mohammed from Iraq the Model are liveblogging the election today from Iraq at Pajamas Media (via Glenn Reynolds):

Officials from the IECI office in Mosul announced that turnout levels were as high as 80% of registered voters in many polling centers and this figure is expected to go even higher in the afternoon since that’s the time housewives find best for going out.

From the BBC(?)…“This is stability, at last”
I beleive that headline has more shock value than a bomb blast in Baghdad!

The Anchoress notices a similar strange headline from the UK Times.

Only sporadic violence marred today’s election.
The excitement continues in Iraq. Turnout looks to be higher than expected.

A young Iraqi girl shows her inked finger after her mother and grandmother voted in Baquba, 50 km (30 miles) north of Baghdad December 15, 2005. Polls opened on Thursday in Iraq’s first election for a full four-term parliament since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Some 15 million people are eligible to vote in an election which Iraqis hope will end decades of suffering, lift living standards and pave the way for a withdrawal of U.S.-led troops. (REUTERS/Bob Strong)

Michelle Malkin has a huge roundup today on this historic election.

Bill Roggio is reporting on the elections from Barwana, a Sunni stronghold, in Iraq. (via Instapundit)

Terrific Iraqi Blogger Hammorabi has these words and more:

In few hours time Iraq will be the Model in Democracy and freedom for the Middle East and the Arab region.

Iraq will lead the changes.

Finally the totalitarian and the one dogma dominated region will end.

God make people free and no one should impose his thoughts to control the others.

God bless Iraq and its allies and friends.

Or Does It Explode notes what a week it has been.
Betsy Newmark, has a great report from an embedded reporter.
California Conservative is following the events today.
Powerline notes that Fallujah had 120,000 vote… by early afternoon!
Athena, anti-terrorism Goddess, is blogging the vote.
No Pasaran, in France, has the latest book review on the nightmare Saddam.
Austin Bay is following the great reporting at Pajamas Media and the pessimism at the NYT.
Kate at Small Dead Animals has a shot of the BBC shocker.
(Hard-hitting Kate will also be reporting on the upcoming Canadian elections for the media in Canada! Congratulations!)
Robert Mayer at Publius Pundit has started a roundup on the election today.
Another Rovian Conspiracy says for Chimpy W. McHitlerBushton it’s all about oil.
All Things Conservative has reaction from the Koz Kids.

Iraqi American Haider Ajinas sends an update from his father from Iraq:

I just spoke to my father in Nejaf. He is getting ready to go out and vote in an hour. He said it is very calm outside and the atmosphere is filled with anticipation hope and celebration. Iraqi TV is following the elections minute by minute. He was specially optimistic about all the rebuilding which is going on and all the new projects soon to come.

The future of Iraq is bright and glorious filled with challenges and rewards. Iraqis are taking ownership of their country (Arab Sunnis included). The relative calm even in the hot areas is strong evidence of this. Now the enemy is mostly Alqaida in Iraq. This enemy will quickly find Iraq a very inhospitable and harsh place to do business.

Here again to all the men and women who have served and serving in Iraq, to all the families of those who have paid the ultimate price to all those who have suffered during their service in Iraq, my family’s and my deepest thanks, gratitude and pride both from the U.S. and Iraq for all the sacrifices, endurance and service for our great country and Iraq and the Iraqis. God bless all of you and keep you safe.

God bless this great country of ours, and God bless our leadership who have the courage and vision to free oppressed people in our times.

Gina Cobb says, “Iraq has now joined the company of nations that are blessed to know the difference between tyranny and democracy.”

And, a surprise guest showed up for the party today.

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