These were comments appearing in the Arab press prior to the Jan 30th elections in Iraq. I quote these to show you SOME of the proof that the changes we have brought forth in Iraq even prior to the lection have positive implications thoughout the ENTIRE Mid East:"Some of the [Arab League] members maintain that the Baghdad government is not legitimate. Why? They argue that it is not elected and was appointed by the American occupation. This widespread view has some basis. However, the talk of the illegitimacy of the [Iraqi] government allows us to raise questions regarding most of the regimes in the region some of which emerged as a result of coups or internal conspiracies, when no one asked the people what it thought."Abdel Rahman al-Rasheddirector-general of Al Arabia TV, writing in the London-based daily Al Sharq Al AwsatNovember 24. (note: since the election the Arab League has concured that the elections were legitimate and any gov't in place is no longer an American appointed gov't, but instead a gov't chosen by the Iraqi people for the Iraqi people!)
"We are not being fair to the current Iraqi government. Not me, nor you, nor the other guest on this program, not even the viewers, but history will do justice to them. These people are establishing the first democracy in the Middle East. This country will be a platform for liberties in the whole region. In Iraq, the days of a leader who remains on his throne until he dies are gone. This is over. For the first time the Iraqi leader will be elected by Iraqi ballots"Egyptian journalist Nabil Sharaf al-Din, speaking on Al Jazeera TV about the future of Iraq,Nov 23
Arab regimes understand they have to start reforming. Yes, the U.S. invasion of Iraq made America some new enemies, but it also has triggered a huge debate about reform in the Arab world. For some people it forced the reform issue, because they said, 'Let's change ourselves before the Americans change us,' The Iraqi issue is forcing the issue of reform on everyone, and in some ways it is independent of what actually happens in Iraq," said Ammar Abdulhamid, who helps run DarEmar, a pro-reform NGO in Syria
The meme of democracy that was planted in Iraq on Jan 30th has had PROFOUND ,positive, exciting implications throughout the Mid East, and continues to grow:
"With a hero who gave his life for the elections, a revived national anthem blaring from car stereos and a greater willingness to help police, the public mood appears to be moving more clearly against the insurgency in Iraq"political and security officials said.
Since national elections, police officers and Iraqi National Guardsmen said they have received more tips from the public, resulting in more arrests and greater effectiveness in their efforts to weaken the violent insurgency rocking the country.
Officials in Baghdad said a relative lull in violence in the capital has fueled the sense that something has fundamentally changed since the vote. A change of attitudes in Baghdad could make a crucial difference in the battle against the insurgency, and a "buoyed sense of civic pride is already beginning to change the way the public treats the police", authorities say.
"They saw what we did for them in the election by providing safety, and now they understand this is their army and their sons," said Sgt. Haider Abudl Heidi, a National Guardsman wearing a flak jacket at a checkpoint in Baghdad.
Reports from Iraqis reflected a similar shift in attitudes in large areas of the north and south, although authorities acknowledged that in some parts of the country, people remain hostile to the emerging Iraqi authority and supportive, to varying degrees, of the insurgents.
The insurgency began to emerge soon after the toppling of Saddam Hussein on a tide of anger over the so called U.S. occupation. But in interviews over the past weeks, officials and Baghdad residents cited what they called a renewed nationalist pride since the elections that they say may be dampening anti-American sentiment, and may be starting to dispel Iraqi tolerance and support for the insurgents.
"I feel very optimistic that things will change for the better because of the strong turnout in the elections. That reinforced our faith and gave us a sense of change for the better," said Ali Jassem, 32, the manager of a bakery in Baghdad.
"You can feel the situation has changed," said Haider Abdul Hussein, 30, a pharmacy owner. "People seem to linger on the street longer. You can feel the momentum, the sense of optimism."
Part of that mood change is credited to Abdul Amir, Iraq's newest national hero. On election day, Amir, 30, a policeman in Baghdad, noticed a man walking toward a polling station who appeared to be carrying something heavy under his coat. Amir wrapped his arms around the man and dragged him away from the crowd. A belt of explosives wrapped around the man blew both men to shreds.
Members of Iraq's interim cabinet have touted Amir as a symbol of national pride. Newspapers have been filled with stories about him. A statue is being planned, and the elementary school that served as the polling station where he died may change its name to honor him.
"It's too simple to say what he did was heroic," said Najat Abdul Sattar, the principal of the school, where bright-eyed children study in dim concrete classrooms just yards from where Amir was killed. "What more honor could we give the man?"
"When people saw what he did, they said we will not let those violent people intimidate us, and they went to vote in even greater numbers. Where there were three or four in line, after the blast there were 30 or 40," said Mohammed Hadithi, who lives near the school.
The change has also been evident in the recent popularity of "My Homeland," a mournful song that was banned by Hussein but has been revived as a national anthem. Iraqis sing along to the paean to Iraqi glory and nationalism as it blares from radios and from speakers propped up outside storefronts in the capital.
Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the interim finance minister and a powerful figure in the Shiite-led coalition expected to dominate Iraq's new National Assembly, contended that the elections created a sense of solidarity that helped dissolve an Iraqi aversion to trusting neighbors, a habit ingrained during the Hussein era.( Very interesting insight as to why Iraqi's behave as they do...DISTRUST as a result of Saddam NOT distrust of American forces...but DISTRUST OF THEIR NEIGHBORS! This distrust meme is embedded in them from years of abuse under Shitdam....this is very important for us to remember in dealing with Iraqi's and Arabs in general)
"People know their neighbors now. They know they are on the same front as their neighbors -- they all went out and voted," he said in an interview Saturday. "I think this has uncovered the terrorists and insurgents. They are less legitimate now."
The elections also appear to have renewed public confidence in Iraqi security forces, who were on the front lines of a largely successful effort to protect 5,000 polling centers from violence.
In the weeks before and since the Jan. 30 elections, Iraqi forces have claimed increasing success in arresting ringleaders of the insurgency.
"We are arresting more terrorists than ever before," said Iraqi National Guard Sgt. Kathem Hanish in Baghdad. "The people are coming to us with information. They are cooperating."At the station where Amir had worked in the Yarmouk neighborhood of Baghdad, policemen said they were encouraged by the reaction to their colleague's heroism.
"It was a turning point," Capt. Muthana Latif said. "People saw that there weren't any Americans or foreigners there. Only policemen. The suicide bomber was just after Iraqis."( this is an important revelation for the Iraqi's - a real shot of cold water in their face- they now understand that these insurgents are NO BETTER THAN SADDAM- they are killing Iraqi's just like Saddam did)
"Policemen did not have a role in this country," police Col. Katham Abbas Hamza said. "Now we are considered number one guardians of the country." ( This is very important..builds trust and confidence and deflects the anger at America troups right back where it belongs IN THE INSURGENTS FACE)
On a board at the Yarmouk police station, the daily shift notices are penciled in next to a handwritten list of funerals: Patrolman Bilal Jassim, shot; Patrolman Mushtaq Talib, ambushed in patrol car; Patrolman Luay Ubaid, killed by roadside bomb. The list has now grown to nine names, including Amir's.
"But if we opened up the recruiting right now, we would be swamped," Latif said.
In Baiji, Iraqi forces arrested 10 people in a raid on Sunday, without triggering an angry public reaction. ( this is hella awesome! The shift as a result of the election is fundamental on so many levels)
"Even though he was taking my son away, he was so nice," an 80-year-old woman who identified herself as Um Younis said about a hooded Iraqi security officer.
"We were surprised because they had very good manners, so polite, and respected everybody," said Anwar Zuhair Khalaf, 38, whose 21-year-old brother was among those arrested. "They asked me, 'Where are the women's rooms?' and when we pointed at their rooms, they did not enter these rooms even though we have a AK-47 in one of these rooms."(The importance of this last comment is not lost on me....the Iraqi's understand each other..they know what lines not to cross...and under SHITDAM...the Iraqi police would have pillored and pillaged...instilling anger and fear in the Iraqi citizens to keep them under their control. These last two paragraphs are VERY important in understanding the fundamental change that has occured in Iraq.If more ING can conduct these "search and seizure type arrests" in this same manner....this will help these frightened beaten down Iraqi's (who are that way ONLY because of Shitdam) to become less fearful, more open, more able to trust the security force, and stop seeing Security Forces as evil-as they were under Saddam-and they in turn will cooperate more with them.)
THIS IS WHAT THE TERRORISTS FEARED WOULD HAPPEN...THIS IS WHY THEY WANTED TO STOP THESE ELECTIONS! BECAUSE ONCE PEOPLE ARE EMPOWERED THEY FEEL CONFIDENT AND THEY ARE NO LONGER AFRAID TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT.....TO STAND UP TO TYRANNY! Its such a positive sign of how much this election TRANSFORMED the Iraqi'es and in turn, is beginning to tranform the Mid East.
Thank you Pres. Bush for being steadfast and committed to these elections against such world opposition! Thank you to all the men and women of the U.S. Military for also being steadfast and committed to helping transform Iraq and the hearts and minds of Iraqi's even as you faced the greatest dangers and threats and a special thank you to all the fallen hero's.
This proves that they did not die in vain; that their deaths were meaningful and served a higher purpose.
I know that they are ALL smiling down from Heaven proud of their brothers and sisters who saw this through and continue to do so!
A new Iraq starts with a transformed Iraqi and clearly this election has brought about a fundamental shift within their very beings, within their minds, their hearts, their souls.
This transformation is contageous and is spreading faster and taking hold stronger than the hate and fear that the insurgents are so desperately clinging to and hoping to spread.
All the comments and observations that I mentioned are coming from the Iraqi's and Arabs themselves, and prove that the newly planted meme of achievable democracy and freedom in the Mid East has taken hold and is spreading!
You'll rarely hear about all this in the MSM...and when you do (some of this came from the AP) you will never
hear this being discussed, shared and celebrated 24/7, instead you hear about a psycho communist loving American hating Italian journalist's lies about being deliberately targeted by American troups.