"The year 2005 will be recorded as a turning point in the history of Iraq, the history of the Middle East and the history of freedom."
--George W. Bush, this morning, 10-ish
Early voting has started in Iraq, and Al Qaeda and other terrorists are calling it a "satanic project."
That doesn't seem to bother these folks, pictured at Gateway Pundit, who reports that turnout is expected to be 68%.
I love this picture of Iraqi soldiers dancing after they voted.
The political bodies used SMS technology for campaigning for the first time; more than 20 lists and parties sent hundreds of thousands of messages via cell phones throughout the country; I for instance received one of those messages.
Bill Bennett asks store owners to 'Go Purple' to show support:
Starting on Monday, December 12th, I â€” and tens of thousands of others across America â€” will be marking my right index finger with purple ink to show those in Iraq we support them. Based on suggestions from listeners on my nationally syndicated radio show, I â€” and we â€” are asking you (to the degree physically feasible) to make available an ink pad or marker at your check-out counters for your customers, to mark their fingers with ink as they leave your store.
Just as I believe in a politics of liberty, I also believe in an economy based on free market principles. Making an ink pad available for your customers who would like to show their support for those principles in your stores through December 15th is what I am asking, in support of that politics and that economy. You may wish to alert your local media of your doing this, for added publicity of the cause outlined above, and your support of it.
The Mesopotamian ponders his swing-voter status, and notes that Iraqis are not intimidated by terrorists, just as they were not intimidated in October or January:
Death and intimidation all over the place; but does that stop anybody? Not in the least. The lists of alliances and parties are bewildering. For myself I am still undecided on whom to vote for. I only know the ones that I definitely cannot elect. I donâ€™t think though, that we are going to see any big surprises. The United alliance ( shiaa religious parties) will still get a large vote, though not as large as before.