Wednesday, December 14, 2005

When Murtha Loses Tikrit...

The Pennsylvania congressman who claims we can't win in Iraq, seems to be a little behind the news:

Sunni Bastion Now Turning to Ballot Box

TIKRIT, Iraq, Dec. 13 - Along the main boulevard here in Saddam Hussein's hometown, hundreds of campaign posters have flowered where insurgents once tossed homemade bombs at American troops.

The guerrilla war found fertile ground in Tikrit, and defiant Sunni Arabs boycotted the elections in January.

But turnout in the parliamentary elections on Thursday is expected to be high, reflecting the shift in attitude of many Sunni Arabs toward the American-engineered political process.

"Last January, the elections were quite different than they are now," Wael Ibrahim Ali, 61, the mayor of Tikrit, said as he strode Tuesday along the grounds of the palace where Mr. Hussein used to celebrate his birthdays. "The people refused to vote, and now they see it was a wrong stand or wrong position."

They even have a budding Churchill:

Zuhair Damen, the electoral official in charge at the Khansa Girls' School, said he expected at least 2,000 of 2,800 voters registered at the site to turn out Thursday.

As he began taping up posters with voting instructions, he summed up the ambivalent feelings that many Sunni Arabs here have about finally being drawn into the political process.

"Democracy is better than nothing," he said. "It's not very good, but it's better than nothing."

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