January 30, 2005
The jihadis attacked and produced casualties, but nothing like the nightmare promise by Zarqawi. I am thinking that he made an empty threat, hoping to scare people, but his operational capabilities appear greatly impaired.
However, the always reliable BBC does not miss any occasion to give prominence to terror and violence, while the historical accomplishment of the vote sort of slips in the background:
But a spate of attacks hit Baghdad and surrounding areas in the hours after polls opened at 0700 (0400 GMT).
- At least three people died in an explosion on a bus reportedly carrying Sunni Arabs to a polling station south of Baghdad
- At least six people died when a bomber with explosives strapped to his body blew himself up outside a polling station in eastern Baghdad
- In western Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed at least four others and injured at least six people outside a polling station, and four policemen were reportedly killed in separate suicide attacks on polling stations
- In the capital's Sadr City district, at least four people died and seven were wounded when a mortar struck a polling station, and four other people were reported to have died in other attacks in or near the capital
- Explosions were also heard in Basra, Mosul and Baquba - where fighting is reported to have broken out in the south of the city
- One guard died in an apparent assassination attempt on the interim justice minister, who was untouched.
Despite the attacks in Baghdad, voting at polling stations in the country's mostly Shia Muslim south and Kurdish north was said to be brisk.Yes you can always rely on BBC for defeatism, depicting the glass as half-empty and what looks suspiciously like pro-jihad propaganda.
I have no illusions that Iraq will become a paradise overnight. There are still big problems to tackle, mainly the pervasive influence of Islam and Arabic tribalism - which aren't really compatible with a modern democracy.
However, these elections were an indispensable first step on the long road to freedom and democracy.
Stand fast, be brave and good luck Iraq!
Update 21:45Z: I knew that the moonbats weren't very excited for the Iraqi elections, but these moonbats in Spain go far over the top and protest explicitly against the vote. And they say they stand for democracy. Yeah, sure. Compare and contrast the spanish left, that voted for appeasement after the (horrific) Madrid bombing, and the Iraqis who went to vote despite the months of terror and bombs, and the attacks to the polling stations (there are reports of voters who actually taunted eventual jihadis, go figure). Who's braver?
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