[Pictures for this collage are courtesy of the various weblogs and websites mentioned below. Thanks to them. These are historic photos that people will treasure in years to come! All reports confirm a HEAVY TURNOUT of Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and other skeins of the newly emerging Iraqi national tapestry. It has had a bloody birth, but Iraq is the first and so far the only Constitutional Democracy in the Arab World.]
IRAQ THE MODEL covers the HISTORIC PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS in IRAQ: We Got Our Purple Fingers! Mohammed and his team at this website are reporting and photographing a huge turnout in elections that are seen as the first acid-test for the FIRST and ONLY CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY in the Arab World. As citizens of the First Democracy in Asia we embrace our brothers and sisters in Iraq. We are fellow travelers now on the long, long road to Freedom! Today we stand united with you, PROUDLY, seeing in your VICTORY and in your HAPPY faces, the future outlines of this ARCHIPELAGO CALLED EARTH.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH reaffirms America's commitment to Democracy in Iraq, to Democracy in the entire Middle East in this and whole series of historic speeches the past week. Speaking before the Philadelphia World Affairs Council last week, President Bush recalled what it was like for AMERICA during the first turbulent years of its own Democracy's infancy:
I can think of no better place to discuss the rise of a free Iraq than in the heart of Philadelphia, the city where America's democracy was born. A few blocks from here stands Independence Hall, where our Declaration of Independence was signed and our Constitution was debated. From the perspective of more than two centuries the success of America's democratic experiment seems almost inevitable. At the time, however, that success didn't seem so obvious or assured. The eight years from the end of the Revolutionary War to the election of a constitutional government were a time of disorder and upheaval. There were uprisings, with mobs attacking courthouses and government buildings. There was a planned military coup that was defused only by the personal intervention of George Washington. In 1783, Congress was chased from this city by angry veterans demanding back pay, and they stayed on the run for six months. There were tensions between the mercantile North and the agricultural South that threatened to break apart our young republic. And there were British loyalists who were opposed to independence and had to be reconciled with America's new democracy.PAJAMAS MEDIA has Bloggerdom's comprehensive coverage of the historic Iraqi elections.
MEMEORANDUM also has great coverage.
Live election coverage and important thoughts are to be found, as always, at NO END BUT VICTORY.
AHMED WITWIT of DIWANIYAH ("I'm student , single, i love all world") asks --
"When will be Old, this what the young thinking between 30 and 40 years old, but when the young as 26 years old trhinking about that or 25 years old make diffrents in palance of life that give to the who studying to make the life to be better and more long some thing flashing to him the life is btween the God hands who doing what is right and make life is better."HEAVY TURNOUT OF IRAQI VOTERS significantly includes surprisingly strong participation in Sunni areas, where in January the plebiscite for a new democractic Constitution for Iraq, "had been shunned". Indeed, it is reported that a SHORTAGE OF BALLOTS occurred in some heavily Sunni precincts. Shias also turned out in force. Such a mingling of free wills is the acid that will dissolve their ancient ill-wills and animosities. Hopefully. And here is something Filipinos do at election times too:
"Policemen guarding a polling place in eastern Baghdad's Zayouna neighborhood fired shots in the air to celebrate the end of voting there."They better not follow in the rest of our footsteps...
Could this be a sign that they are? (from BAGHDAD BURNING) a sour note with a solid list of possible winners in the elections:
- National Iraqi (731): Ayad Allawi’s list, which now includes some other prominent puppets including Adnan Al-Pachachi, Ghazi Al-Yawir, Safiya Al-Suhail, etc. Ayad Allawi is a secular Shia, CIA-affiliated, ex-Ba’athist.Prominent Puppets?
- Unified Iraqi Coalition List (555): Hakim, Ja’affari and various other pro-Iran fundamentalists, in addition to Sadrists.
- Kurdistani Gathering (730): Barazani, Talbani and a few other parties.
- Iraqi Front for National Dialogue (667): Mainly Sunni, secular list – includes the Iraqi Christian Democratic Party and is headed by Salih Al-Mutlag.
- Iraqi Alliance Front (618): Mainly Sunni Islamic parties.
TERRORIST FASHION may get purple-fingered -- check out an unusual photo at FullosseousFlap of "an Iraqi Sunni woman Ayisha shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote in Amman, December 15, 2005."
MEANWHILE IN THIS ARCHIPELAGO: At the rate the Philippines is going, with attempts coming to draft a new Constitution for the FIFTH TIME in its history -- Malolos Republic (1898), Commonwealth (1935), Martial Law (1972), Freedom (1987) and the upcoming Glorious Constitution (2006) there is the distinct possibility that Iraq will make it to full democracy before the Philippines. Although there can be no "race" as such in so historic a task, Filipinos should note that the Iraqis have just completed their first Parliamentary elections yesterday. Meanwhile at the Palace and with their Congress allies, plans are being hatched for a switch to a FEDERAL, PARLIAMENTARY system. I have likened this mad plan to radical, self-administered brain surgery, done in the name of greed for power and the insatiable lust of ambition. Like I said, Iraq could beat us to full democracy yet, unless the Political Mafias that contend for power on both the Right and the Left can finally be defeated by the broad majority of Filipinos who already belong to the Future, not the Past and the Present that those forces want to preserve.
There will be no end but Victory, because there IS no end but Peace.
There will be no peace until there is Justice and Liberty for all.
For all human beings. One Global Republic. One Human Nation. One Universal Constitution that grants to all the rights and duties, the freedoms and responsibilities that are "God's gifts to Man, not America's" (as President Bush declared on September 12, 2002 before the United Nation's General Assembly.) I think this is Humanity's project for the Twenty-first Century and though it may not be fulfilled until a century hence, it is my dream for THIS ARCHIPELAGO CALLED EARTH.