January 29, 2005


In Kurdish North, Campaign Turns Into a Street Party: 'We Were Dreaming for This Day to Come' (Jackie Spinner, January 28, 2005, Washington Post)

Adnan Ismael raced to the back of the campaign bus carrying supporters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and frantically pulled aside a dark blue curtain so he could see out.

Hundreds of honking cars were following behind in an impromptu rolling celebration late Thursday afternoon through this ancient city. Passengers hung out of vehicles, shouting and waving the yellow flag of the KDP and the red, white and green flag of the Kurdish semiautonomous region here in northern Iraq.

Ismael turned from the window, a stunned look on his face.

Inside the bus, a group of aging, bewhiskered former guerrilla fighters struck up an old revolutionary song. Their eyes brimmed with tears as they sang in husky voices: "Our flag is waving high in the sky. We are still alive. The Kurds are alive. There is no cannon that will break our will."

"We were dreaming for this day to come," said Ismael, the KDP leader for Irbil's Tajil district, who darted back and forth to get a look at the scene unfolding on every side of the bus. "Now we will all choose our representatives for the future. Every Kurd wishes to see this day."

The war was entirely one of the President's choosing, fought for no other reason than to make Iraq democratic. Now look what he's caused.

Likewise his Rose Garden speech forced this, Democracy's New Face: Radical and Female ( (Molly Moore, January 29, 2005, Washington Post)

Fathiya Barghouti Rheime sees herself as the new face of Islam in the democratic Middle East espoused so fervently by President Bush.

She is a 30-year-old high school teacher, mother of a 9-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. She describes herself as a "very religious" Muslim. She wears the hejab, a scarf wrapped tightly over her head. She does not shake hands with men outside of her family.

Two weeks ago, Rheime became the first woman ever elected mayor of a Palestinian community, an achievement that stunned many residents in this traditional, patriarchal society.

"It's a sign of change, a quantum leap," Rheime said while sitting in her newly painted office with blank white walls and peach draperies. "I'm deeply concerned about transmitting the picture of the active Islamic woman to the world, to wipe away the blemish of the veil."

Were Democrats in control all this instability would have been avoided.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2005 3:48 PM

If she wants to wipe away the blemish of the veil, she should get rid of the veil.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 29, 2005 8:28 PM

fought for no other reason than to make Iraq democratic.

As you note so often, we should not make a fetish of democracy. We should take our own advice and listen to what the President says: we are making Iraq democratic because it makes us and them better off.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 30, 2005 12:41 PM


Posted by: oj at January 30, 2005 3:31 PM