"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Defying threats of suicide bombers and assassinations, millions of Iraqis went to the polls yesterday in the country's first free and fair nationwide election since 1953.
Wire reports from Baghdad said the streets were for the first time in months filled with children playing soccer in many parts of the besieged capital. Voters proudly displayed their fingers stained in blue ink to prove they had voted and prevent them from voting twice.
One report from Iraq said a 90-year-old woman was pushed to a Baghdad polling station on a wheelbarrow. Another said that women who had survived Saddam Hussein's 1988 campaign against the Kurds were celebrating at polling places in northern Iraq. Mr. Bush quoted a dispatch about a man who had lost a leg in a terrorist attack last year. "I would have crawled here if I had to. I don't want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me. Today I am voting for peace," Mr. Bush quoted him as saying.
The Associated Press quoted an Iraqi election official, Mijm Towirish, as saying his country had "broken a barrier of fear."
The words and pictures of yesterday's election in Iraq tell the story of a remarkable achievement by the Iraqi people. It is an achievement that took place with the aid of America and its partners in the coalition that liberated Iraq. And in the face of the skepticism of a host of figures and institutions, on both the left and the right, in America and abroad.
That elections are a better thing than tyranny seems a truth so obvious as not to be worth stating. Yet such were the passions aroused by the Iraq war that many Western observers now find themselves hoping, disgracefully, that that country's first free poll will fail…
[Y]esterday, Iraq became the most democratic country in the Arab world. What a pity that so many writers who, in other circumstances, are optimists about human progress, should shut their eyes to what is happening. In their determination to say "I told you so", they are coming perilously close to siding with jihadi murderers. Shame on them.