Here’s a great dispatch in today’s Weekly Standard from Michael Yon, an embedded blogger/journalist in Iraq. Michael contrasts and compares the Iraqi elections in January and October.
All Quiet On The Baghdad Front – Weekly Standard
I WAS IN BAQUBA during Iraq’s January elections, having hitched a ride with the U.S. Army to a polling site. There were bombs exploding, mortars falling, and hot machine guns. The fact that the voting was going great despite the violence was something few people expected. Until that day, I’d been skeptical about Iraq.
The courage of the Iraqi people that January day planted a seed of confidence. These were not timid or cowering souls. There I was: an American alone in a dangerous Iraqi city, at the very polling site that soldiers were wagering would be bombed. One after another, Iraqis came and shook my hand, showing me their children, laughing, smiling, saying over and over, Thank you, thank you, thank you. I felt like an honored guest, and I felt a twinge of shame that I’d been less confident in the Iraqis than they were in themselves. The voice of the Iraqi people had risen above the clamor of insurgent violence.
Michael was on full “tour mode” on Referendum Day last week as well.
On the eve of the election, I wanted to be fully prepared for combat in the morning. Once we started out, we’d have no idea how long we might be away, so I headed as quickly as possible to my room, showered, and managed to fall asleep. While I slept, terrorists knocked out electricity to most of Baghdad. Iraqis pulled out their lanterns.
I walked through the morning darkness to meet the soldiers, who were laughing at the terrorists: Don’t those dumbasses know that the voting will happen during the daytime? When it comes to winning hearts and minds, cutting off the electricity didn’t win any support. I have been saying it for many months: The terrorists are losing. But today was litmus-day.
There had actually been somewhere between 300 and 350 total attacks on the January election day. And the army would later say that there were 89 total attacks during the voting last week. Who knows? I know that it was quiet from my perch, and that the guns had been silenced long enough that we could hear the Iraqi voice speak for a second time. The voice was louder, stronger, and prouder than it had been in January.
My biggest question is this: With the money, toil, and treasure of the American people on the line in Iraq, why
didn’t doesn’t the Mainstream Media have more comprehensive reports like Michael’s on a daily basis?