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calendar   Thursday - December 15, 2005

A New Beginning

After two years, it is finally happening. The votes are in and the counting has begun. Another hard-earned milestone on the road to freedom and democracy in Iraq has been reached as Iraqis elect their first permanent Parlliament. Violence was light and voter turnout was heavy. I wish the people of Iraq all the best in their new venture. I only hope they stay the course and don’t allow another Saddam Hussein to snatch their freedom away ...

And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

Iraq Extends Voting Amid Strong Turnout
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP)

Iraqis voted in a historic parliamentary election Thursday, with strong turnout reported in Sunni Arab areas and even a shortage of ballots in some precincts. Because of the large turnout, the Iraqi election commission met in emergency session and extended voting for one hour after long lines were reported at some sites, said commission official Munthur Abdelamir.

Heavy participation by Sunni Arabs, who had shunned balloting last January, bolstered U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops next year. Some preliminary returns were expected late Thursday, but final returns could take days, if not weeks.

Meanwhile, several explosions rocked Baghdad throughout the day, but overall the level of violence was low. A large blast near the heavily fortified Green Zone slightly injured two civilians and a U.S. Marine, the U.S. military said. A civilian was killed when a mortar shell hit near a polling station in the northern city of Tal Afar, and a grenade killed a school guard near a voting site in Mosul.

A bomb also exploded in Ramadi, a mortar round struck about 200 yards from a polling place in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, and a bomb was defused at a voting site in Fallujah, despite promises by major insurgent groups not to attack such places. But violence was light overall and did not appear to discourage Iraqis, some of whom turned out wrapped in their country’s flag on a bright, sunny day, and afterward displayed a purple ink-stained index finger — a mark to guard against multiple voting.

- Read more on this great day for Iraq here ...

Scenes From A New Democracy

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** All photos courtesy of Associated Press.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/15/2005 at 03:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Iraq •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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