Monthly Archives: January 2005

A thank you from the Ajinas

Reader Haider Ajina has spoken with his family in Iraq and writes us from his home in California: I just finished my phone call to my Father in Baghdad, Iraq. He voted, my 84-year-old Grandmother voted, my uncles and aunties voted, my cousins voted. They were elated, happy, energized, empowered and grateful. To all the men and women who have served and serving in Iraq, to all the families of »

Photos From the Front

All across Iraq, long lines formed at polling places as a stunningly high proportion of Iraqis defied the terrorists to exercise their right to vote. Here are some photos from a variety of cities; click to enlarge: Everywhere in Iraq, citizens proudly displayed their ink-stained fingers to show that they had voted: It is hard to imagine a more complete repudiation of the terrorists and their allies among western leftists »

America the Beautiful

In his magnificent recording of “America the Beautiful,” Ray Charles distills the essence of American popular music in his patented style. In order to overcome the familiarity that prevents us from hearing the words of such songs, Charles begins with the song’s relatively unknown third verse on martial sacrifice — the verse that seems particularly appropriate today: O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self the »

Iraqi Blog Roundup

For first-hand reaction to today’s election, check out the Iraqi bloggers: Iraq the Model, of course; The Mesopotamian; Hammorabi; Diary From Baghdad; Iraqi Humanity; Baghdad Dweller; Democracy In Iraq; Free Iraqi. And Friends of Democracy has nonstop coverage of the election. »

Mama told me not to come

John Kerry appeared on NBC News’ Meet the Press this morning and MSNBC has posted the transcript. On the matter of today’s election and our efforts in Iraq it makes predictably painful reading. On a matter of special interest to us, Tim Russert gets around to asking Kerry questions about Kerry’s bogus journey to Cambodia with an unfortunately lengthy windup. Russert is a little late to this particular party, but »

Iraqis Celebrate

Mohammed and Omar are as joyful as you would expect: We had all kinds of feelings in our minds while we were on our way to the ballot box except one feeling that never came to us, that was fear. We could smell pride in the atmosphere this morning; everyone we saw was holding up his blue tipped finger with broad smiles on the faces while walking out of the »

A Smashing Success

The road to democracy and to a normalized society in Iraq, and throughout the Middle East, will be a long one. But for now, let’s just celebrate the stunning success of today’s Iraqi election. Turnout is being estimated at around 72 percent of eligible voters. If this is anywhere near correct, it’s an astonishing number, far exceeding the turnout of eligible voters in any recent American Presidential election. This Reuters »

Fisk weighs in

Robert Fisk has surfaced just in time to render judgment on the election in Iraq: “What a bloody charade.” The column reads like an over the top parody of the British journo who gave his name to the phenomenon of “fisking.” Fisk sees the Iraq election as a “fantasy” (why?), notes that the terrorists have not been defeated yet (though Fisk’s reference to the “occupiers” suggests he supports them), and »

Simon says

Roger L. Simon threw his inhibitions overboard and live blogged the Iraqi election via the television coverage on Fox News and CNN last night. I think Roger is somewhat further along in his anger management therapy than I am, but his live blogging is equally adept in its media commentary and celebration of the event. Here’s a sample (the times from last night are Pacific): I am watching Fox News »

I missed this

Somehow, I had missed the fact that Iraqi expatriates are voting in Syria. Thus, Iraqis living in Syria can participate in a democratic process, but Syrians can’t. A bit odd, that, but it’s another example of the impact this election could have in the Arab world. The election should also have a major impact in the U.S. If Americans see that Iraqis thirst so much for democracy that they will »

MSNBC reports

that hardly anyone is voting in Ramadi which, it says, is essentially an active war zone (there was a fire fight yesterday near a polling station) and ground zero of the insurrection right now. »

The cause for which Fern Holland died, Part Two

A substantial number of women are present in nearly every picture I see of Iraqis lined up to vote. This makes me think of Fern Holland. Fern was a lawyer (and my opposing counsel in a labor law case) who went to Iraq on behalf of the State Department to promote women’s political empowerment. Terrorists killed Fern a year ago. Today we are seeing the fruits of her labor. »

Early returns

I’ve been watching the Iraqi election coverage on Fox. After two hours, the story seemed to (a) excellent turnout and (b) plenty of explosions. In one sense it sounded like business as usual — Iraqis going about their business amidst the violence. But this time, crucially, the business is voting. Amazing. By the way, this has got to be Geraldo Rivera’s finest hour. Wearing an ear-to-ear grin, his face glowing, »

As Voting Gets Underway…

…in Iraq, a good place to go for continuing coverage is Friends of Democracy. Voting is underway; so far, so good. »

Fanning the flames of capitulation

I can’t improve on the critiques of Ted Kennedy’s “cut and run” speech on Iraq by readers Haider Ajina and Emidio Moglia. However, I would like to address the strange logic Kennedy employed. Kennedy argued that the “indefinite presence [of U.S. troops] is fanning the flames of conflict” and that “the war in Iraq has become a war against the American occupation.” These premises may true at some level, but »

Can Europe turn the corner?

Earlier this month, I wrote a post called “Europe, the Future That Works?” in which I expressed skepticism about the emerging claim that the European vision of the future will eclipse the American dream and bring an end to our supremacy. I suggested that Euro-triumphalsim in this country may be, in part, a fantasy of the Bush-haters (and America-dislikers), in which our condign punishment for rejecting the European approach to »

A Ringing Defense of Freedom

I’m going to be on Larry Kudlow’s syndicated radio show tomorrow morning at around 11:05 central time. (That leaves me just enough time to get home after teaching Sunday School, the Book of Ruth–amazingly enough to those who knew me when). The topic under discussion will be the election in Iraq. I can’t improve on Larry’s own piece on Real Clear Politics: Osama bin Laden and Zarqawi both know that »