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WAR: Little Violence As Iraqis Vote on Charter

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posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 04:47 PM
About nine million Iraqis turned out to vote on the Iraqi constitution. Larger numbers than expected of Sunnis turned out to vote in an effort to gain more influence over the democratic process than the Shiites and Kurds. Even with the large voter turnout and the intense competition between factions, very little violence has been reported.
Sunni Arabs voted in surprisingly high numbers on Iraq's new constitution Saturday, many of them hoping to defeat it in an intense competition with Shiites and Kurds over the shape of the nation's young democracy after decades of dictatorship. With little violence, turnout was more than 66 percent in the three most crucial provinces.

The constitution still seemed likely to pass, as expected. But the large Sunni turnout made it possible that the vote would be close or even go the other way. Washington hopes the constitution will be approved so that Iraqis can form a legitimate, representative government, tame the insurgency and enable the 150,000 U.S. troops to begin to withdraw.

Whole families turned out at voting stations, with parents carrying young children, sometimes in holiday clothes. Men and women lined up by the hundreds in some places or kept up a constant traffic into heavily bunkered polls, dressed in their best in suits and ties or neatly pressed veils _ or in shorts and flip-flops, weary from the day's Ramadan fast.

"I'm 75 years old. Everything is finished for me. But I'm going to vote because I want a good future for my children," Said Ahmad Fliha said after walking up a hill with the help of a relative and a soldier to a polling site in Haditha, a western Sunni town.

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Despite the fact that we hear mostly bad news coming out of Iraq, the progress toward democracy continues. We should all feel a sense of pride that there is even a glimmer of hope that a genuine Arab democracy will emerge in the Middle East. It has been a long hard fought battle that continues even to this day, but I cannot help but feel optimism that freedom is infectious and will proliferate if given ample opportunity.

posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 01:40 AM
While I share your optimism Grady, I am still leery of the way things have been going in Iraq for the past few months. The Sunnis must be brought on board if democracy in Iraq is going to succeed. Perhaps the last minute compromises made by the Shiites & Kurds to get the Sunnis to support the constitution will pay off, but, as I said, I'm still leery. It appears to me the country could drift into civil war just about as easily as it could come closer together.

I remain hopeful that all the sacrifices made by the coallition and by the citizens of Iraq will pay off.

[edit on 16-10-2005 by Astronomer68]

posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 01:43 AM
There's enough leeriness out there to more than compensate for my over the top enthusiasm. Someone has to keep the faith. Pessimism never accomplished anything.

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