Sunday, January 30

HIGH VOTER TURNOUT: "A BULLET IN THE HEART OF THE ENEMY"

Good Morning, Readers! What a grand morning!

Where to begin? The polls have officially closed in Iraq. According to independent election commission estimates, and in what for apathetic American voters ought to be an embarrassingly high, mind-boggling number, a whopping 72% of eligible voters turned out to vote in Iraq's first election in some 50 years. The naysayers have been left twisting in the wind. Indeed, as one jubilant Iraqi observed: the exceptional turnout was a bullet in the heart of the enemy.

The Iraqis did a gut check and truly won the day! This election is so different from most, so inimitable. Once the final tally is in, it will be more a celebration of a nation's courage (and of America's determined liberation of that nation), than a victory dance for the candidates who won.

The best Americans have ever done was a 63% turnout in the presidential election of 1960. We of the grand democratic traditions -- America, the cradle of democracy -- have never come close to approaching this kind of stunning demonstration of democracy in a single election. It is truly a testimony to the will of a long-oppressed people to be free. Self-rule has come to Iraq. And let it be said that the Iraqis withstood a juggernaut of terrorism and insurgency -- a hail of bombs and bullets -- and defied their enemies, while casting their ballots proudly.

Can you imagine how President Bush feels this morning? And what of Ted Kennedy? Oh, I think we know what Ted Kennedy does in the face of danger, both personally and professionally.