THE PROUD IRAQI PEOPLE Iraqis have begun going to the polls to vote for the first permanent Iraqi parliament since the fall of Saddam Hussein. As many as 10 million people are expected to cast ballots in the historic election. Violence was reported almost as soon as the polls opened -- a roadside bomb went off in Ramadi, and another blast was reported in Baghdad. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.-CNN Despite CNN’s Anderson Cooper reporting from “Ramadi� (BORRRING) and additional reporting from CNN above, voting here and around Iraq has been conducted flawlessly. In the insert above they report all the negative they can possibly muster with “a road side bomb went off in Ramadi� Yea, no kidding rocket scientist, it was one of many IEDs in Ramadi that went off today which is a daily event that happens in this area. They should move around in the streets and they will probably hear sniper fire as well. What else they didn’t report as that when those IEDs went off the Iraqi people in line waiting to vote didn’t budge or flee. It’s very sad that they have to try to highlight any miniscule possible negative activity about the work your Marines and Soldiers are doing while your service members continue to risk their lives to make things happen for Iraq. Anderson Cooper was in a voting facility in Ramadi interviewing Iraqi citizens and appeared to be in the way, blocking the voters from trying to submit their votes while he did his report. CNN reporter says: Well bob it looks like this thing is going to happen pretty smoothly, Yes it does Anderson but lets sabotage this polling site and we can be the first on the scene to report the deficiencies in the American forces……sounds good……...praise Allah! The villages and polling areas were basically locked down and denied and vehicular travel to eliminate and chance of SVBIEDs (Suicide Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device), aka 20 arty shells in a car trunk). In many locations medal detectors outlined entry ways to voting sites and Iraqi soldiers provided security with US forces reinforcing them. As the picture shows in this post taken in Husaybah, the Iraqi people are voting! This is a major slap in the face for the insurgency. Although it didn’t start today it actually began back in with the successful elections in Oct. This is where a major blow was dealt to the insurgency and their overall demise began to show. Like back in Oct, today proved that although still scared, the Iraqi people were fed up with the insurgent intimidation and wanted a change. Now, in Dec the Iraqi Army successfully voted yesterday and today the entire country was able to vote freely and without intimidation. From the insurgency view, America has not only won the fight in the street but now it has pretty much won the Iraqi people over as well. Insurgents can’t stand to see Iraq become independent and grow. The mere fact that men, women and Iraqi soldiers are voting means the insurgency is on its way out, it reinforces the beginning of their end for the insurgency. We see people coming freely to the voting sites, we see a different Iraqi, one who wants a change and is doing their part to make it happen. Today was a huge turning point for Iraq as a free country and rightfully proves that the democrats back in the states missed the mark and are dead wrong. They defiantly don’t “Get it�. To follow their plan and pull out US forces when they initially wanted to would have prevented today from happening like it did quiet, without injury and successful. Iraq is becoming free and independent through democracy! Along with the Iraqi people, I would dedicate the success of today to all of the fallen servicemembers. For their service & sacrifice has made today possible. They will never be forgotten! NO SHIT NEWS Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces helped pave the way for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens in Al Anbar Province to vote in today’s National Parliamentary Elections. Voter turnout was robust throughout the province, with preliminary reports indicating that a far higher percentage of the predominantly Sunni population participated in today’s elections than did in October’s Constitutional Referendum. Overall, there were few security incidents reported in the Province, and the murder and intimidation campaign that kept many people from the polls during previous votes never materialized. “Today’s vote exceeded all expectations,� said Assistant Division Commander, Brig. Gen. James L. Williams. “What we saw today was the result of months of hard work by the Iraqi government, the US Ambassador and his staff, the international community, particularly the IECI and Iraqi and Coalition Forces. Most of all, it clearly demonstrates the resolve of the local Iraqi people to take their rightful place in the democratic process.� In the provincial capital of Ramadi, where only several thousand citizens took part in the Referendum, tens of thousands of voters lined the streets to vote today. Residents were observed dancing, singing and waving the Iraqi flag in a rare display of national pride. Members of both the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police provided security throughout the city while Coalition Forces remained largely on the outskirts in the event they were needed for an emergency. It is still too early to tell what percentage of voters in the city actually voted, but the numbers are expected to be much higher than they were during the Referendum. In Fallujah, where an estimated 90% of voters participated in October’s Referendum, voter turnout in today’s elections was similarly high. As in Ramadi, Coalition Forces turned over much of the responsibilities for securing the vote to Iraqi Security Forces. In Karmah, on the outskirts of Fallujah, a polling site that was bombed by insurgents yesterday was quickly repaired and operational by the time the polls opened today. There were no casualties reported in the incident. Elsewhere in the province, in cities like Husaybah, Karabilah and Ubaydi, voter turnout was steady throughout the day. Until a few weeks ago, this area near the Syrian border was largely under the influence of al Qaeda in Iraq-led insurgents. Recent Iraqi and Coalition operations such as Steel Curtain and Iron Fist were instrumental in clearing these cities of insurgent fighters. The permanent security presence left behind in this region is seen as a crucial step towards preventing insurgents from establishing a stronghold in the area again. “No one can look at what happened in Al Anbar today and still deny progress is being made,� said Williams. “Overall, attacks against local citizens and Iraqi and Coalition Forces are down, voter turnout is much higher than before and the people are finally beginning to see the fruitlessness of supporting the insurgency. Credit has to also be given to the bravery of Governor Ma’moun, Governor of Al-Anbar Province, to encourage his Sunni population to vote through their tribal leaders’ encouragement. While we still have a long way to go, we have made remarkable strides since last January’s elections, and now have the potential to establish a real measure of order and security in the Province.�
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