Direct From Iraq…

…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.


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