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January 30, 2005
Gray Lady Acknowledges Victory

The New York Times gives an unequivocal look at the astounding victory for democracy won by the defiant Iraqi people and steadfast Coalition partners. Dexter Filkens filed a surprisingly blunt assessment of the complete defeat of terrorism and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in attempting to drag the Iraqis into a second darkness:

After a slow start, voters turned out in very large numbers in Baghdad today, packing polling places and creating a party atmosphere in the streets as Iraqis here and nationwide turned out to cast ballots in the country's first free elections in more than 50 years. ...

The voting in Baghdad streets of Baghdad were closed to traffic, but full of children playing soccer, and men and women walking, some carrying babies. Everyone, it seemed, was going to vote. They dropped their ballots into boxes even as continuous mortar shells started exploding at about noon.

Thirty-six civilians and three police officers died in mortar attacks and suicide bombings around the country, the Interior Minister reported. Twenty-two of the deaths occurred in Baghdad, Reuters reported, where mortar attacks took three lives and 19 people were killed by suicide bombers. At least 29 were wounded in the attacks in the capital, Reuters said.

But it the insurgents wanted to stop people in Baghdad from voting, they failed. If they wanted to cause chaos, they failed. The voters were completely defiant, and there was a feeling that the people of Baghdad, showing a new, positive attitude, had turned a corner.

No one was claiming that the insurgency was over or that the deadly attacks would end. But the atmosphere in this usually grim capital, a city at war and an ethnic microcosm of the country, had changed, with people dressed in their finest clothes to go to the polls in what was generally a convivial mood.

After months of editorializing about the folly of imposing democracy at gunpoint and calling for delaying elections in favor of reaching out towards the so-called insurgents, the New York Times finally gets it right today. I'm glad to see it, but let's also remember that had we listened to the Gray Lady initially, these people would still be suffering under the oppression of Saddam Hussein, or if we had listened later, we would have abandoned them to the bloodthirsty lunatics.

One wonders if Pinch Sulzberger and his associate ever tire of being wrong. Today's report by Filkins might well provide evidence that they occasionally do.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 30, 2005 9:47 AM

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» They have voted in Iraq from Sister Toldjah
It was predicted that as many as 250 attacks would occur in Iraq on election day. .... Captain Ed takes a look at how the NYTimes has finally gotten one right with regards to the elections in Iraq. [Read More]

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