Iraqi Elections: “Iraq Will Be O.K. With So Many Brave People, It Will Certainly O.K”

To the Bush administration, Tony Blair, John Howard, Aleksander Kwasniewski and the other Coalition governments, American and Coalition troops, the Iraqi security forces, and Iraq’s civilians who have all strived and struggled for almost two years to help make Iraq a free country: I, and all freedom loving people, salute you for making yesterday’s elections not just possible, but a smashing success.

There’s certainly a lot of work left to do in Iraq, but when a day this historic occurs, it’s worth taking a moment to stop and contemplate the enormity of what has been accomplished so far. Here are a few quotes about the election that will help put things in perspective…..

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“I bow in respect and awe to the men and women of our people who, armed only with faith and hope are going to the polls under the very real threats of being blown to pieces. These are the real braves; not the miserable creatures of hate who are attacking one of the noblest things that has ever happened to us. Have you ever seen anything like this? Iraq will be O.K. with so many brave people, it will certainly O.K.; I can say no more just now; I am just filled with pride and moved beyond words.

….My condolences to the Great American people for the tragic recent losses of soldiers. The blood of Iraqis and Americans is being shed on the soil of Mesopotamia; a baptism with blood. A baptism of a lasting friendship and alliance, for many years to come, through thick and thin, we shall never forget the brave soldiers fallen while defending our freedom and future.” — Alaa, The Messopotamian

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“The turnout in Iraq was really like nothing that I had expected. I was glued in front of tv for most of the day. My mother was in tears watching the scenes from all over the country. Iraqis had voted for peace and for a better future, despite the surrounding madness. I sincerely hope this small step would be the start of much bolder ones, and that the minority which insists on enslaving the majority of Iraqis would soon realise that all that they have accomplished till now is in vain.

Another surprise was to see some Iraqis who had fled the country in fear of reprisals, such as the families of ex-regime figures and ex-Ba’athists, actually voting and encouraging others to vote! I know some of those from school and college and I imagined they would be bitter about the whole process, but many were not.

…I really want to write much much more but I have to run for now. I promise I will post again soon. In the mean time: Hold your head up high, Remember that you are Iraqi.” — Zeyad from Healing Iraq

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“In mainly Shi’ite Basra, Iraq’s second biggest city, hundreds queued patiently to vote. “I am not afraid,” said Samir Khalil Ibrahim. “This is like a festival for all Iraqis.”

A small group cheered in Baghdad as Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein, a descendant of Iraq’s last king, went to the polls.

…Baghdad’s mayor was overcome with emotion by the turnout of voters at City Hall, where he said thousands were celebrating.

“I cannot describe what I am seeing. It is incredible. This is a vote for the future, for the children, for the rule of law, for humanity, for love,” Alaa al-Tamimi told Reuters.”Wired News

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“How can I describe it!? Take my eyes and look through them my friends, you have supported the day of Iraq’s freedom and today, Iraqis have proven that they’re not going to disappoint their country or their friends.

Is there a bigger victory than this? I believe not.

I still recall the first group of comments that came to this blog 14 months ago when many of the readers asked “The Model?”… “Model for what?” Take a look today to meet the model of courage and human desire to achieve freedom; people walking across the fire to cast their votes.

Could any model match this one!? Could any bravery match the Iraqis’!? Let the remaining tyrants of the world learn the lesson from this day.” — Mohammed and Omar, Iraq The Model

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“Women in black abayas whispered prayers at the sound of a nearby explosion as they waited to vote at one Baghdad polling station. But the mood for many was upbeat: Civilians and policemen danced with joy at one of the five polling stations where photographers were allowed, and some streets were packed with voters walking shoulder-to-shoulder to vote. The elderly made their way, hobbling on canes or riding wheelchairs; one elderly woman was pushed along on a wooden cart, another man carried a disabled 80-year-old on his back.

“This is democracy,” said Karfia Abbasi, holding up a thumb stained with purple ink to prove she had voted.”Yahoo

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“Samir Hassan lost his leg in a Baghdad bombing but that did not stop him reaching the polling station.

“I would have crawled here if I had to. I don’t want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me,” said Hassan, 32, propping himself up on worn metal crutches as he queued in the working class district of Hurriya, a mixed Sunni and Shia neighbourhood near the old city.

“Today I am voting for peace. It is the only way, we must vote against them,” he added.

With his shoddy clothes hanging off him, and his trouser leg folded up beneath his amputated leg, Hassan hardly looked like a campaigner. But in his eyes, resolute and reddened at the edges, and in his face, scarred by the October blast, there was absolute determination.”The Times Online

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“Great day!

It is the birth of freedom and democracy in Iraq!

It is a great festival!

Today only we may announce the victory!

Today we hit back in the heart of the terrorists and the tyrants!

Today is the day in which the souls of our martyrs comforted!

Today those who were killed in Iraq or wounded among our friends from the USA and other allies, who helped us to reach this day, are with us again to inscribe their names with Gold for ever!

Today we challenged the killers and terrorists and foot on them with our shoes!

Many people walked long distances to vote in a most civilised way!

People asked for more time to enable them to vote!

One woman was crying because she can not reach the requested polling station to vote!

In many parts the police helped citizens to take them with their cars to the polling stations!

As we expected the enemies of God and freedom send their mentally retarded cockroaches in some suicidal attacks.

On the top of our privileged today are those who were killed in their way for voting. Their names should be perpetuated for ever! Their names should be written in Gold in Al-Fordos Square in Baghdad!

Our thanks go to George W Bush who will enter the history as the leader of the freedom and democracy in the recent history! He and his people are our friends for ever!

At this moment the voting closed and we will see the results then!

God bless Iraq and America.”Hammorabi

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“Last night I couldn’t sleep well. I was so excited and I wanted to be at the voting center before it even opens its door. I was afraid that I was going to be among a minority who are going to vote, but I was still very happy for rather a different reason. It’s that just as I care about the outcome of this election and that democracy would work in Iraq, I cared no less about voting on a personal level. This was my way to stand against those who humiliated me, my family and my friends. It was my way of saying,” You’re history and you don’t scare me anymore”. It was my way to scream in the face of all tyrants, not just Saddam and his Ba’athists and tell them, “I don’t want to be your, or anyone’s slave. You have kept me in your jail all my life but you never owned my soul”. It was my way of finally facing my fears and finding my courage and my humanity again.

…As I got out it was still early and I saw no one on the streets but as I got near to the voting center I started seeing people in groups heading the same way. Most of them were women. I saw a crippled man and my old neighbor and his older wife leaning on their walking sticks going to vote. An old woman cleaning her door step stopped me, “Say son, can I go and vote?” She asked after she saw many people going to vote. “Sure Khala (aunt)! Everyone can”. She thanked me and went inside apparently to change and get her IDs.

…As I was walking with many people towards the center explosion hit and gun fire were heard but most were not that close. People didn’t seem to pay attention to that. Some of them even brought their little kids with them! It’s like the Eid but only a thousand times better.

I entered the school and the supervisors showed me the way to were I should vote. They and the ING guys were so polite and gentle. I cast my vote and got out, not in a rush at all. This is my Eid and I felt like a king walking in his own kingdom. I saw the same look of confidence and satisfaction in the eyes of all people I met. As I left one of the gurads said to me as he handed me back my cellular phone,”God bless you and your beloved ones. We don’t know how to thank you. Please excuse any inconvinience on our part. We wish we didn’t have to search you or limit your freedom. You are heroes” I was struck with surprise and felt ashamed. This man was risking his life all these hours in what has become the utmost target for all terrorists in Iraq and yet he’s apologizing and calling us heroes. I thanked him back and told him that he and his comrads are the true heroes and that we can never be grateful enough for their services.

…I’m stil overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions that I don’t know what to say more. The only things I can feel so strongly now are hope, excitement, pride and a strange internal peace. I have won my battle and I’m watching the whole Iraqis winning their battle too. I’ll try to write to you later my friends.

A’ash Al Iraq, A’ashat America, A’ash Al Tahaluf. (Long live Iraq, long live America and long live the coalition)” — Ali from Free Iraqi

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