…to Pajamas Media are live reports from Baghdad, Basra and other locations. The Pajamas reporting is all done by private citizens, some (or maybe all) are bloggers. They contributed first-hand observations like these:
We have also noticed some interesting events and gestures in Babil today, like:
-Several polling centers distributed sweets and soft drinks to the voters while men and women cheered and sang celebratory songs.
-An election official refused to let the governor of Babil cast his ballot until he showed his id card!
-Some voters marked their choices with blood by pricking their fingers in a demonstration of patriotism.
A turnout number of 11 million is being reported; that can’t be final yet, but if it turns out to be right, it would be higher than turnout rates here in the U.S. The election seems to have been a complete success. The New York Times finds little to criticize:
In a day remarkable for the absence of large-scale violence, millions of Iraqi voters, many of them dressed in their best and traveling with other family members, streamed to the polls today to cast ballots in a nationwide election as Iraqi leaders predicted that the vote would split almost evenly between secular and Islamist parties.
All across Iraq, people are celebrating. Americans should celebrate a little, too.