While the violence will continue during the election period in Iraq, many have hope for a free and democratic Iraq...none more so than the US military and the Iraqis.
Here in Chicago, the local media has been finding Iraqis voting at polling places throughout the area - some travelling for hours to cast their vote. I was listening to the radio on my way in to work and heard one Iraqi American yelling "FREEDOM!" while casting his vote in Rosemont, Illinois.
In Iraq, it will be a bit different. Al Qaeda wants the elections to fail. They want a civil war. They want the Shia and the Sunnis to fight. Because Al Qaeda will thrive in Chaos. Killers of women and children, Al Qaeda will try to make the elections a victory for the terrorists.
Possibly, the greatest outcome of blogging for me has been that I was able to meet Omar and Mohammed of Iraq the Model. As I've said before, it was then at that moment that I knew my friends' sacrifices were worth it.
Please, spread the word that the truth about the elections is being posted by Iraqis in their own words at Friends of Democracy (I just read about the first electoral debate - it reminded me of Chicago City Hall). And word is that C-SPAN will be airing Friends of Democracy sessions in DC on Sunday between 1-3PM EST.
Here's what the Iraqi Friends of Democracy are all about:
Friends of Democracy - Our Vision
Despite the challenges, we were seeing free and democratic Iraq, we were living the hard laboring moment we believe that every one of us has duty towards our beloved country
By our hands, work, thoughts, sacrifice we will build up the new Iraq.
Our home is open for every friend of democracy and they are many in Iraq.
We are the hope of the rest of peoples which longed for freedom and they are looking with the eye of hope to the Iraqi sample.
Let us show them a shining sample and let us remind them that we are the ones of the first code of laws. Let them share us to work with full efforts to push forward the democracy process in Iraq.
The student is the pivot of the family and its candle and a source of renewal.
The student is a goal and a hope.
The active students groups in the field of democracy in Iraq are an admirable promising, surprising experiment. They are an active part and friends of democracy.
Our support to them is for our dream.
Her voice will not keep being low.
In new Iraq she's with the man exerting efforts to uplift marginalization and unfairness.
She is a major element, she is a friend of democracy.
Our hearts become happier when we see the Iraqi women participate in building up and raising foundations.
She is the minister, deputy, teacher and the doctor. She plants the farm she raises the generation.
We work together with many women organizations to spread out election and democracy culture to the Iraqi woman.
Our project and dream.
We endeavor to link the non governmental organizations (NGO's), students groups, women organizations and the individuals through a network to exchange experience and thoughts to push forward democracy process in Iraq.
We won't be isolated islands from now on.
We are stronger in sharing opinions and exchanging information and experience.
You are not alone, friends of democracy exist all over Iraq and now you are with them in every moment.
Our weapon: the word and free opinion.
So, spread the word, tell your friends that they see what the media will not show them at Friends of Democracy.