Incredible Iraqi election story
WaPo published a story about the election that is simply amazing. Iraqis were standing in line to vote when a suicide bomber walked up to the police officer that was frisking people and blew himself and the officer up as well as four other people.
The young man wore a winter jacket over his explosive vest and approached the polling station with his hands in the pockets.The Iraqis, under extreme duress, showed great bravery.
"Take your hands out of your pockets," said Ali Jabur, the Iraqi police officer in charge of patting down voters on the street outside. The young man obliged by throwing his arms wide, and blew them both to bits.
Three hours later, in streets still littered with the bomber's remains, some very determined voters streamed into the Badr Kobra High School for Girls, intent on casting the ballots that they called a repudiation of the terrorist attacks meant to scare them away.
Though performing this duty meant standing amid flecks of the flesh of the last officer who had the job, there were volunteers. In stepping forward to do the first round of pat-downs themselves, local residents explained that they could raise the alert if another suspicious stranger approached.They had to shut down the polls for a couple of hours to clean up the mess, and they moved the security perimeter back another block, but voting resumed.
"The police might not be able to recognize residents; we know them better," said Zaid Abdulhamid, an electronics merchant. He was stationed at the head of an alley blocked by the trunk of a date palm, the all-purpose roadblock in Iraq. The Arabic words spray-painted on the surrounding walls read: "No to America. No to occupation" and "Death to anyone who hates Iraq."
When the suicide bomber at the high school struck shortly before 11 a.m., the polling site had been growing busy after a slow start. But Hadi Saleh Mohammed, the election official in charge, felt he had no choice but to close it down. There were the wounded to evacuate, a gruesome mess to clean up, security to reassess.Could we find more than a handful of people in America with this kind of courage?
While all that went forward, the voters stood at the end of the block, waiting.
"They wanted to come back in," Mohammed said. "They didn't want to go back home."
"First, people want to stop this terrorism that's breeding in this country. Second, the religious leadership wanted people to vote. And third, people have had enough of time wasted. They want to get their permanent government."
So the polling place reopened. On the advice of the U.S. troops, the security perimeter was pushed back a block, so people could be frisked twice before entering the school.
Yes, we can. They're called the US military.