BBC reports on Iraq’s vote today . The print version doesn’t dwell on the huge turnout of citizens who have defied the terrorists but I’m listening to their reporter on the scene, Hugh Sykes, on the radio now and he is much, much more positive. It sounds like a great success, which is a relief. Here’s a bit of Mr. Syke’s report:
In a small village near Ramadi in Anbar province west of Baghdad, 300 of the 400 people on the electoral roll had already cast their vote by mid-morning.
It was like a party – hugs, smiles and animated conversations. Many parents brought their children with them. No sign that anyone had been intimidated by threats from al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Far to the south, in the holy city of Najaf, a similarly festive – and defiant – mood. The corridors of a Najaf school echoed with a babble of happy chat.
Three small boys crowded round their dad as he cast his vote, and then – like him – they dipped their fingers in the purple ink.
And a student of English, Zaid Mirza, said he had voted “for change, and new faces”.