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Saturday, October 15

"It is different this time, father"

The polls are closing in Iraq, where an estimated 15.5 million people were expected to vote on Iraq's Constitution at more than 6,000 polling places around the country. Reportedly it will take days to tally the vote.

Yesterday "Mohammed" at Iraq the Model wrote of his excitement about today's vote and told a personal recollection that underscores how far Iraq has come:
I am so excited but a flashback from Saddam’s referendum three years ago still hurts; he wanted a 100% [voter turnout] as the 99.96% of the previous one shocked the dictator. I was depressed that way and I decided not to go to the voting office and so did the rest of the family but my father was afraid that not going could be dangerous.

He said that maybe one member of the family could go alone and cast votes for the rest of us. We looked at each other thinking who’s going to volunteer to do this ugly job to protect the family. At that moment my father said “it was my generation that caused the misery we’re living in so I’m the one who should do this.”

I couldn’t stop him and I couldn’t utter a word but I felt sad for him; his sacrifice was big and I had teary eyes when I watched him taking our papers and heading out.

It is different this time father, no more 100% and a ‘no’ would make me happy just like a ’yes’ would do and no one ever will force us to do something against our will anymore.

Tomorrow will be another day for Iraqi bravery.
We haven't gotten to see much of Iraqi bravery, much less US bravery, due to the crummy job of reporting on Iraq done by the Establishment media. As to why the reporting has been so crummy -- part of the reason was revealed by US Navy Captain Chuck Nash (Ret.), a military analyst for Fox cable news.

On Wednesday Nash told John Batchelor that most of the reporters stay inside the Green Zone and pay stringers to go out and get footage for them. Chuck added that the US military keeps offering to embed the reporters but most don't accept the offer.

Why don't reporters leap at the offer? Reporter Michael Yon, who is embedded at this time in Iraq, explains the process of embedding. It makes fascinating reading. From Yon's account, it seems the answer is that it takes more dedication to good reporting than the Establishment and their megbucks advertising sponsors are generally willing to muster.

So until Iraqi TV news goes global we'll have to rely on a few dedicated reporters such as Michael Yon. And we'll have to keep improvising, if we want an idea of what is happening in Iraq aside from bloodshed. Here are some suggestions:

> Visit the "milblogs" on a routine basis -- The Fourth Rail is one I visit regularly (see Pundita blogroll) -- and check out the blogroll there and at Winds of Change and Belmont Club for lists of many good milblogs.

> Dan at Riehl World View advises to check out CENTCOM's website to gain a more balanced view of the situation in Iraq.

> Become a regular listener to John Batchelor's daily news program (see Pundita sidebar).

> Be sure to visit Good News Central, which carries on Arthur Chrenkoff's great public service of providing briefings on the "good news" from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Of course it's not good news for the terror masters or media organizations that can't stand the thought the US is meeting their objective in those countries. But the reports on Good News Central suggest that the vote today in Iraq went better than the Establishment media would have led us to believe.
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