In Mosul, Iraq ten percent of the town's 500,000 elgible voters actually went to the polls on Sunday and dipped their fingers in the now famous purple
ink. There have been more Kurdish voters at the polls than Sunnis. The Sunnis have boycotted the vote and few Sunnis have strayed from this principle.
However on Election Day some Sunnis actually did vote because of the lower level of violence.
In the garbage-strewn, swampy Rashidia neighborhood in Mosul's northwest, a Sunni Arab area where American military officials say there is no
insurgent activity because of strong tribal ties and directives from sheiks, voter turnout was reportedly strong.
Mahmoud Ibrahim, a 36-year-old education official, paused as he led a blind relative down the street. "We voted here in Rashidia because we followed
the lead of our tribal sheiks," Mr. Ibrahim said. "We are Sunni Arabs, but we voted because we want a country, a government and security."
Some Sunni Arabs said they voted after leaving their neighborhoods for areas where they would not be recognized.
"I didn't vote at the polling station near my home," said Muhammad Hussein, 30, an electrical engineer. "I made sure to vote in a crowd. I found out I
am not the only one who did that."
One Sunni Arab man, Zakaria al-Ahmar, a 33-year-old shop owner, said he voted in his own neighborhood.
"If all we have to do is mark a ballot paper to survive grenades, explosives, kidnapping and killing by terrorists, then so be it," he said.
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The fact that Zakaria Al-Ahmar would vote when he was being shot and shelled is testament to the fact that when given democracy people will choose to
be involved in that great process. Overall the vote in Iraq was comparable to turnout in a U.S. election. Far as we know no one gets shot at by
anybody during a U.S. election. We may not have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but we gave an entire nation the ability to be free and that
is why America is great. We go in and help a nation that has been opressed for a quarter-century when we know that we will not gain anything out of
it. That is how the War on Terror will be won. You are not going to win the War on Terror by killing all the terrorists but by projecting the United
States as a place where freedom, and not tyranny is prevalant.
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