American Elephants

If you don’t have what you think you need, make do with what you have. by The Elephant's Child
January 28, 2009, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

What is a band to do when they need a rhythm section and they don’t have one?  This is pretty goofy, but it works!

It’s Election Time Again in Iraq, and We Wish Them Well. by The Elephant's Child
January 28, 2009, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Freedom, Heartwarming | Tags: , ,

Saturday is the main polling day for Iraqi Provincial elections, but around 600,000 police, soldiers, hospital patients and prisoners were eligible to cast early ballots today, to help avoid logistical and security problems which troubled the parliamentary  election of January 2005 when the vote was held on a single day.

The chairman of the Independent High Electoral Commission told reporters that “Turnout was huge,” after the polls closed at 5 pm.  He said that there were no violations or irregularities.  Security was very tight.

Iraq is holding the elections in 14 of its 18 provinces on Saturday.  About 15 million citizens  are eligible to vote.  Prime Minister Nuri as-Maliki is hopeful of a turnout between 70-80 percent.  They will choose from among 14,000 candidates for 440 seats.

In 2005 many Sunni Arabs boycotted the elections, but this time around they are expected to vote in large numbers to reverse the political imbalance that resulted from their failure to vote last time.   That rejection allowed Shiite and Kurdish parties to take control of parliament which bred resentment among Sunnis and was at least partly to blame for the violent insurgency that took so many lives.

A story from an American soldier told of a very pregnant Iraqi woman standing in line to vote in the last election.  She went into labor, and with the help of an American medic, delivered the baby right there.  She thrust the baby into the arms of the soldier, and went in to vote.

Many doubt that change can really come to the Middle East, but when millions of women proudly vote for the first time, it cannot help but create something of an earthquake throughout the region.

General Petraeus, when questioned about the potential for Democracy in Iraq, said that he called it “Iraqracy.”  Not quite like our Republic, but they seem to be on the right track.

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