D – 3 and Counting

Michael Totten is over coordinating blogging at the new English & Arabic “Friends of Democracy” website.

This week is history being made, and like most history it’s not very pleasant to live through.

I’m thinking about all the brave Iraqis a lot, and hoping that things go better for them in the next month than I fear (and others hope) they may. And admiring them for pushing their way forward to a decent future in the face of those who would instead chain them to an indecent one.

12 thoughts on “D – 3 and Counting”

  1. I’m as excited about the Iraqi election as I was about the recent U.S. election…I understand it
    will take about 6 days to get a preliminary
    result….be interesting to see how the liberal
    media spins the Iraqi election – you be sure to
    let us know because I don’t watch the news on
    CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, etc….Tombstone
    Stranger

  2. “The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.”
    — H. L. Mencken

  3. It’s a tragedy that not all Americans see this event for what it truly is — a historic, world-altering moment. Certain segments of the Left are so furious with the current administration, they are unable (or unwilling) to see the positive changes in the Middle East. Neither can they appreciate that many Iraqis who vote on Sunday will be risking their lives to do so.

    God bless the Iraqi people.

  4. Perhaps the most enjoyable and heartwarming thing ive been observing is the hope where there was none.

    With all the danger and loss of life, its still lower than the death rate under Saddam, but even so, to see so many with so much hope for the future, no matter how uncertain, an uncertainty they are all well aware, yet hope radiates from them.

    I see a strength in these people.

  5. Gosh, one’s hopes rise so fervently in the face of “this new dawn”:http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040628-035810-7940r.htm/ .

    The Bush administration and GOP leaders clearly hope to use the transfer of power to overshadow criticisms from across the political spectrum of the bad intelligence, lack of planning and troop deaths that marked the U.S. invasion and presence in Iraq, but many problems are still faced by U.S. government interests.

    Feel free to use this template to screen stories about the elections. It’s from June 28, 2004. It’s difficult to see how any of the salient point in it have changed. Or will change before the election is challenged by AK-47 wielding insurgents — sorry — terrorists.

  6. i am amazed that in recent polls, over 70% of iraqi’s intend to vote. when south africa finally allowed universal voting, the death and destruction that was promised (and sometimes delivered) garnered only praise from the media. in iraq, it’s oh woe is me. when i think of the numbers of people that are willing to put their lives on the line to vote, it saddens me to think of how few voted in our country during the last election. for a “freedom loving people”, we sure don’t show it at the polling place in numbers that even approach the expected turnout in iraq.

  7. John Burns has an article out on security pre-election. Needless to say it is all doom and gloom, and nothing really new here, but that doesnt change the fact that there is truth to what he is saying, and its maddening. There are still several places where the inmates are running the asylum, and not out of the way spots, but places like the road between Baghdad and the airport. I think the idea that we have anything near sufficient troops in country is as dead as Dillenger. I think its a fair question as to why, in the past TWO YEARS, nothing has been done to remedy that.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/27/international/middleeast/27baghdad.html?hp&ex=1106802000&en=e0e95b1a6978ed8b&ei=5094&partner=homepage

    Its the NYT, so you of course arent getting both sides of the story. Still, I think there is a tendency towards irrational exuberance on the part of the hawks. Lets not get carried away, this isnt going to be another Afghanistan. This election is going to be a running street battle in places like Haifa Street and Mosul. There will probably be bombings in many parts of Baghdad and even previously peaceful places. Will this deligitmize the elecion? Of course not, but make no mistake that the media will sell it that way. That is why it is important for us not to oversell how great the election prep is going. Expect the worst and hope for the best.

  8. Mark, can you explain the difference between the Arabic and English versions of the site? I’m curious as to what the Arabic version is all about. Is it the blogging tool? Pardon my ignorance here.

  9. AFAIK (and it’s not much) there is an English-language ‘overblog’ (currently done by Mike Totten), along with a series of individual blogs done by Arabic-speaking correspondents (volunteers?) on the ground in the different governates. These are translated by the FoD staff and put up on the English side.

    I’m emailing this to someone who actually knows, and we may get a better answer soon…

    A.L.

  10. We built an arabic blogging tool, similar to typepad or blogger, out of iUpload.com’s CMS / blogging tool by translating the entire interface from English to Arabic. People who read arabic can sign up and get a blog at http://www.friendsofdemocracy.net

    We also put together one multi-author blog fodhome.friendsofdemocracy.net which currently has about 150 articles, written by Iraqi correspondants who are located all around the country, writing about news &elections.

    A few of those articles (and more to come, as I understand it) are being translated then added to other materials on the web and placed on http://www.friendsofdemocracy.info

    I hope that helps clear things up!
    – janice abrahams

  11. Thanks, janice! It’s a great program you’ve pulled together (I’m a donor). If you haven’t done so already, a good idea might be to email a bunch of Iraqi bloggers and ask them to link to the site. I don’t know if many of them are aware of it.

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