Since the Iraqi Elections are tomorrow I thought I would highlight some of the positive things that are happening there. The MSM keeps us up to date on all the negatives and even makes some up so this blog will err on the side of being encouraging and postitive.
The first item I have is a personal story that is from a friend of a friend. I got permission to post it here as long as there were no names mentioned.
"Because I can't stop smiling. . .
. .I have to tell you all the most awesome thing I've heard in months. Today I had breakfast with my friend who is Iraqi. She and her family fled Iraq when she was very young because her uncles and a bunch of other relatives had already been killed in an ethnic cleansing campaign. She hasn't seen her country in twenty years, but she still loves it very much. This morning she was late to breakfast, which is totally not like her, and when she came in she was grinning from ear to ear and her index finger was purple. That's the symbol of support for voting in Iraq because, in order to prevent voter fraud, the poll workers dip your finger in purple ink once you've received a ballot. When she walked in this morning, she grabbed my arm (which is way strange for her--she's even less touchy-feely than I am), shook me and said, "I did it! I voted!" And then she hugged me and both of us burst into tears.
Guys, this is SO huge. For her to be allowed to vote in a free election for the first time in her life is so amazing I can't even express it. She went to the polling place at 6:30 this morning because she wanted to be there when the doors opened, and at 8am both she and her 57-year-old mother voted for the very first time in their lives.
Last time, more than 60% of the country turned out to vote, and they expect numbers to be even higher this time because the promised attacks from last time fell so short. Those of you who pray, please keep the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi and coalition soldiers who will guard the polling places in your prayers for the election on Thursday."
Apparently people in the U.S. and all over the world were allowed to vote in the Iraqi elections yesterday as long as they are still Iraqi citizens. Very cool story.
The second item is some positive things that were reported by ABC News of all places.
Dec. 12, 2005 —"Surprising levels of optimism prevail in Iraq with living conditions improved, security more a national worry than a local one, and expectations for the future high. But views of the country's situation overall are far less positive, and there are vast differences in views among Iraqi groups — a study in contrasts between increasingly disaffected Sunni areas and vastly more positive Shiite and Kurdish provinces.
An ABC News poll in Iraq, conducted with Time magazine and other media partners, includes some remarkable results: Despite the daily violence there, most living conditions are rated positively, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead.
Campaigning Stops a Day Ahead of Iraq Vote
Iraq's Wolf Brigade Said to Be Effective, at Times Brutal
Securing the Election
Surprisingly, given the insurgents' attacks on Iraqi civilians, more than six in 10 Iraqis feel very safe in their own neighborhoods, up sharply from just 40 percent in a poll in June 2004. And 61 percent say local security is good — up from 49 percent in the first ABC News poll in Iraq in February 2004.
Nonetheless, nationally, security is seen as the most pressing problem by far; 57 percent identify it as the country's top priority. Economic improvements are helping the public mood.
Average household incomes have soared by 60 percent in the last 20 months (to $263 a month), 70 percent of Iraqis rate their own economic situation positively, and consumer goods are sweeping the country. In early 2004, 6 percent of Iraqi households had cell phones; now it's 62 percent. Ownership of satellite dishes has nearly tripled, and many more families now own air conditioners (58 percent, up from 44 percent), cars, washing machines and kitchen appliances.
Life In Iraq: Percent Saying Good
In Your Life 70%
For Country 44%
There are positive political signs as well. Three-quarters of Iraqis express confidence in the national elections being held this week, 70 percent approve of the new constitution, and 70 percent — including most people in Sunni and Shiite areas alike — want Iraq to remain a unified country.
Interest in politics has soared.
Preference for a democratic political structure has advanced, to 57 percent of Iraqis, while support for an Islamic state has lost ground, to 14 percent (the rest, 26 percent, chiefly in Sunni Arab areas, favor a "single strong leader.")
Whatever the current problems, 69 percent of Iraqis expect things for the country overall to improve in the next year — a remarkable level of optimism in light of the continuing violence there. However, in a sign of the many challenges ahead, this optimism is far lower in Sunni Arab-dominated provinces, where just 35 percent are optimistic about the country's future."
Ofcourse the article went on to list a bunch of negatives also. It wouldn't be an article from the MSM if they didn't. If you would like to read the whole article go here.
The third item is a good article by Thomas Sowell. Here are some excerpts:
"Our troops can kill ten times as many of the enemy as they kill and it just isn't news worth featuring, if it is mentioned at all, in much of the media. No matter how many towns are wrested from the control of the terrorists by American or Iraqi troops, it just isn't front-page news like the casualty reports or even the doom-saying of some politicians.
The fact that these doom-saying politicians have been proved wrong, again and again, does not keep their latest outcries from overshadowing the hard-won victories of American troops on the ground in Iraq.
The doom-sayers claimed that terrorist attacks would make it impossible to hold the elections last January because so many Iraqis would be afraid to go vote. The doom-sayers urged that the elections be postponed.
But a higher percentage of Iraqis voted in that election — and in a subsequent election — than the percentage of Americans who voted in last year's Presidential elections.
Utter ignorance of history enables any war with any casualties to be depicted in the media as an unmitigated disaster.
Even after Nazi Germany surrendered at the end of World War II, die-hard Nazi guerrilla units terrorized and assassinated both German officials and German civilians who cooperated with Allied occupation authorities.
But nobody suggested that we abandon the country. Nobody was foolish enough to think that you could say in advance when you would pull out or that you should encourage your enemies by announcing a timetable.
There has never been the slightest doubt that we would begin pulling troops out of Iraq when it was feasible. Only time and circumstances can tell when that will be. And only irresponsible politicians and the media think otherwise."