Sunday, February 01, 2009

Give 'em 'da finger ....

In a moment of relaxation this Sabbath - do some pondering here about something very rare in world history - and almost unheard of in their part of the world.
Iraqis held their most peaceful election since the fall of Saddam Hussein on Saturday, voting for provincial councils without a single major attack in a poll that demonstrated the country's dramatic security gains.
"The purple fingers have returned to build Iraq," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said after the polls closed, referring to the indelible ink stains on index fingers that show voters have cast their ballots.

There was something of a holiday atmosphere in many parts of the country. In normally traffic-choked Baghdad, children took advantage of a ban on cars to play soccer in the streets.

"How can we not vote? All of us here have always complained about being oppressed and not having a leader who represented us. Now is our chance," said Basra voter Abdul Hussein Nuri.
President Obama made an interesting statement.
"This important step forward should continue the process of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future," Obama said in a statement after millions of Iraqis went to the polls to elect councils in 14 or Iraq's 18 provinces.

Security for the country's first ballot since 2005 was extremely tight with Iraqi police and military deployed in force, and Obama praised the technical assistance by the United Nations and other organizations to Iraq's electoral commission, which he said "performed professionally under difficult circumstances."
Me? Well, I'm thinking of other people to thank today. Slowly fading and unmentioned in some circles - but for my $.02 something I thought the CINC should have least acknowledged along with the institution that retreated from the field when they were needed most.

Me, I thank these men and women - and their comrades who right now are keeping watch.

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