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High turnout in Iraq’s day of voting
Khaleej Times ^ | 10/15/05 | Khaleej Times

Posted on 10/15/2005 12:07:24 PM PDT by freedom44

BAGHDAD - Iraq’s deeply divided Shias, Sunnis and Kurds voted under heavy guard on Saturday to decide the fate of a new constitution aimed at establishing democracy after more than two decades of Saddam Hussein’s repressive rule.

A day that US and Iraqi leaders feared could turn bloody turned out to be the most peaceful in months.

Insurgents attacked five of Baghdad’s 1,200 polling stations with shootings and bombs, wounding seven voters. But the only deaths were those of three Iraqi soldiers in a roadside bomb far from a polling site, and there were no major attacks reported as US and Iraqi forces clamped down with major security measures around balloting sites.

The United States hopes the constitution will be approved so Iraqis can form a permanent, representative government and secure the country so Washington can start withdrawing its 150,000 troops.

In the south, Shia women in head-to-toe veils and men emerged from the poll stations flashing victory signs with fingers stained with purple ink, apparently responding in mass to the call by their top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, to support the charter.

“Once the constitution is stable, the country will be stable,” Rajaa Mohammed Abbas, a 35-year-old Shia woman, said after voting “yes” in the southern city of Karbala, where crowds of people marched after casting ballots, chanting “yes, yes to the constitution.”

But in Sunni areas in Baghdad and several key heavily Sunni provinces, a surprisingly high turnout in some areas seemed to consist largely of Iraqis voting “no” because of fears the new constitution would mean setting in stone the Shia domination they fear.

The Sunni Arab turnout was a dramatic change from January parliamentary election, which most Sunnis boycotted. Now they were eager to cast ballots, which could make the race tighter than expected.

“This is all wrong. I said ’no’ to a constitution written by the Americans,” said Jilan Shaker, 22, a laborer who showed up at a polling station in Baghdad’s Azamiyah district polling station in shorts and plastic sandals.

In the crucial northern city of Mosul, there was a constant flow of voters all day long into a kindergarten in a Sunni Arab neighborhood: men and women, dressed at their best in suits and ties or neatly pressed veils, many carrying young children in holiday clothes.

A top UN official told The Associated Press that turnout was very high in the predominantly Shia Muslim south but low in the mostly Sunni Arab western province of Anbar, where insurgents are active. Carina Perelli, director of the Electoral Assistance Division of the United Nations, also said voter turnout was very steady in many other mostly Sunni regions.

Voters at the country’s 6,100 polling stations marked their paper ballot “yes” or “no” under one question, written in Arabic and Kurdish: “Do you agree on the permanent constitution project?” After placing the ballots in the plastic boxes, the Iraqis had the forefinger of their right hands marked with violet ink.

A few Sunni leaders called for a “yes” vote after last-minute changes were made in the draft, but most urged their voters to oppose.

When polls closed at 5 p.m., celebratory gunfire was heard in Baghdad. Families handed out sweets to passers-by in the street ahead of the end of the day’s Ramadan fast about an hour later.

Vote counting began immediately. In Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad, a handful of men sat around long tables with lanterns, putting “yes” votes in one pile and “no” votes in another.

Baqouba turnout is key because the city is in a province that is majority Sunni but has sizable Shia and Kurdish communities.

There are four provinces where Sunni Arab opponents are hoping to make that threshold: Anbar, Ninevah, Salahuddin and Diyala, all with Sunni majorities. But all of those except Anbar also have significant Shia and Kurdish populations mixed in who the opponents must outweigh to reach two-thirds.

So competition was at its fiercest in those areas, with all sides drumming out voters.

“The government can’t just sew together an outfit and dress the people up by force. We do not see ourselves or see our future in this draft,” said Gazwan Abdul Sattar, 27-year-old Sunni teacher in Mosul after voting “no” in Nivevah’s capital, Mosul.

But in a nearby mostly Kurdish neighborhood of the city, Bahar Saleh gave her support to the constitution. “This constitution will at last give the Kurds their lost rights,” the 34-year-old housewife said, coming from the polls with the red-and-green Kurdish flag wrapped around her body.

In Salahuddin province, just north of Baghdad, turnout may have been as high as 75 percent, local election officials said. In the Sunni Arab town of Tikrit - Saddam’s birthplace, hundreds rushed to the polls in the last minute to make the closing of polls and get home in time for the breaking of the fast.

But turnout also appeared high in mainly Shia towns and districts elsewhere in the province.

In Baghdad, American troops in Humvees rattled down Baghdad streets in patrols, while Iraqi soldiers and police ringed polling stations at schools and other public buildings protected by concrete barriers and barbed wire. Iraqi soldiers armed with heavy machine guns looked over polling sites from nearby rooftops. US troops in tanks and armored vehicles stood not far away as helicopters hovered overhead. Driving was banned to stop suicide car bombings by Sunni-led insurgents determined to wreck the vote.

“Today, I came to vote because I am tired of terrorists, and I want the country to be safe again,” said Zeinab Sahib, a 30-year-old mother of three, one of the first voters at a school in the mainly Shia neighborhood of Karrada in Baghdad. “This constitution means unity and hope.”


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cary; iraq; iraqiconstitution; iraqielection; iraqsuccess; voterturnout
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To: ohioWfan

Well they may have been confusing. /sarcasm


51 posted on 10/15/2005 2:12:48 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: johnny7
Their coverage today was abysmal.

Just today?

The last good coverage of Baghdad by CNN was when their news correspondence was from the top of a hotel back in '91.

One of those reporters of the news has since been fired.

52 posted on 10/15/2005 2:13:58 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: mainepatsfan
The terrorists really let them down today.

The Dem's will make up for the loss....

53 posted on 10/15/2005 2:16:12 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: mainepatsfan

LOL! Only to a Democrat in Florida, maine. :)


54 posted on 10/15/2005 2:16:41 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Take comfort, Friend George, God is with thee!)
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To: EGPWS

By appealing to the Florida Supreme Court?


55 posted on 10/15/2005 2:18:23 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: ohioWfan

Still one of the funniest South Park episodes of all time was the one when they made fun of the Florida recount.


56 posted on 10/15/2005 2:19:30 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: anonymoussierra

Thank you Sara! You always have the greatest pictures!


57 posted on 10/15/2005 2:20:39 PM PDT by Just A Nobody (Proud member of the Water Bucket Brigade - It's all about MOOSEMUSS)
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To: DoughtyOne
Democrats everywhere are deeply saddened...

It's tough to change a dogma so entrenched as this one.

After all, without sadness and despair where would the Dem's place their focus?

58 posted on 10/15/2005 2:22:31 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: EGPWS

I'm not sure, now that praying for U.S. defeat hasn't paid off.


59 posted on 10/15/2005 2:25:06 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
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To: mainepatsfan
By appealing to the Florida Supreme Court?

LoL!

They will find a way after all their politics dictate self preservation above country so whatever it takes politically, they will pursue preservation.

60 posted on 10/15/2005 2:26:13 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: DoughtyOne
I'm not sure, now that praying for U.S. defeat hasn't paid off.

They are scrambling in real time to redefine defeat to maintain political status.

61 posted on 10/15/2005 2:28:42 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: EGPWS

I'm sure their busily working on their talking points for tomorrow morning. It'll be something along the lines of "We're pleased with the turnout BUT monkey...."


62 posted on 10/15/2005 2:29:25 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: ohioWfan
First they talk about Toledo, then Arkansas, and now rain in New England. Holy COW! THIS IS IMPORTANT, FOX!! It's not your FOURTH or FIFTH story!

You know, aside from the fact that it is a very hopeful sign of a monumental shift in the politics of the region, you would think they could cover this story out of respect for those young Americans who have been killed and injured bringing about this victory.

63 posted on 10/15/2005 2:31:38 PM PDT by proud American in Canada
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To: Albion Wilde
Thanks for the ping Albion!

LET FREEDOM REIGN!

64 posted on 10/15/2005 2:31:58 PM PDT by Just A Nobody (Proud member of the Water Bucket Brigade - It's all about MOOSEMUSS)
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To: freedom44

Some interesting updates:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/international/middleeast/16iraq.html

Voting centers were also set up in the American-run prisons at Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca for some 13,000 detainees, many of them suspected insurgents. There was even a polling station at Camp Cropper, where Mr. Hussein is incarcerated. There was no word on whether he had cast a ballot.

LOL

Are these results statistically possible?:
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/BA9FB67F-74A2-4609-AED5-8BEAE587CC9A.htm
At the Sajdat voting centre in Najaf province, the director said that of 3125 registered voters 2099 had voted. All but 30 had voted "Yes" - an approval of more than 98%.

In Miqdadiya, in Diyala province north of Baghdad, the head of Konoz polling centre said 2166 voters were registered, of whom only 366 turned up, 299 of them voting "No" and 67 "Yes".

In Yathreb, a Sunni Arab town north of Baghdad, 3500 people voted, with 3497 of them voting "No" and just three "Yes".



65 posted on 10/15/2005 2:38:38 PM PDT by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/secondaryproblemsofsocialism.htm)
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To: mainepatsfan
However they did cut the power for a time so the MSM will question the results

Although the votes are cast on paper.

Interestingly enough, although admittedly there aren't that many pictures of this, every photo I've seen of a voter actually putting pen to paper, the person is voting yes.

66 posted on 10/15/2005 2:39:01 PM PDT by proud American in Canada
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To: traviskicks
Are these results statistically possible?:

Not only possible, but highly probable. In small towns, in the Mid-East, people are likely to register and vote almost as a 'block'.

67 posted on 10/15/2005 2:43:54 PM PDT by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker!)
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To: bnelson44

Operation Iraqi Freedom - began March 19, 2003
Election to ratify constitution for a democratic Iraq - October 14, 2005

That's two years and seven months.

US Declaration of Independence - July 4, 1776
Completion of US Constitution - September 17, 1787 (took effect 1789)

That's eleven years and two months. (I could have begun with the Boston Tea Party which would have added another three years.)

http://www.rogerlsimon.com/mt-archives/2005/10/how_short_it_ha.php


68 posted on 10/15/2005 2:45:21 PM PDT by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker!)
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To: jocon307
“The government can’t just sew together an outfit and dress the people up by force."

That is some quote. Quite an image it gives my mind.

Does it bring this image to mind?


69 posted on 10/15/2005 2:51:27 PM PDT by newzjunkey (CA: Stop union theft for political agendas with YES on Prop 75! Prolife? YES on Prop 73!)
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To: i_dont_chat
It's Bush's fault!

It IS Bush's fault,
It WAS Bush's fault,
It SHALL BE Bush's fault.

I think that just about covers it.

70 posted on 10/15/2005 2:52:08 PM PDT by evad ( PC KILLS-)
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To: traviskicks

Those kind of results may well be possible.


71 posted on 10/15/2005 2:52:38 PM PDT by newzjunkey (CA: Stop union theft for political agendas with YES on Prop 75! Prolife? YES on Prop 73!)
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To: freedom44

How could this have happened?
I thought it was all chaos, bombs, and anti-democracy over there, not mention quagmire, vietnam deja-vu, etc.....
Man, I'll never listen to the main stream media as the sole source of real, true information...
what a bunch of idiot losers the MSM is...give 'em their
paycheck and tell them to get lost


72 posted on 10/15/2005 2:53:10 PM PDT by Getready ((fear not...))
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To: bnelson44

Not only possible, but highly probable. In small towns, in the Mid-East, people are likely to register and vote almost as a 'block'.
----

I understand what you're saying, but 3497 'no' votes out of 3500 voters is 99.91%. I'd think that voter 'error' would be higher than that, notwithstanding that I doubt that many people could agree on anything...


73 posted on 10/15/2005 2:53:24 PM PDT by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/secondaryproblemsofsocialism.htm)
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To: freedom44

I'm sure the Obsolete Media will be all over this.


74 posted on 10/15/2005 3:07:22 PM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (De gustibus non est disputandum.)
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To: GBoettner

'..where was Jimmy Carter..'

Good question! But, whatever rock he's hiding under, let's hope he stays there. It's bad enough that, recently, Fox has taken to having Marvin Kalb and Stansfield Turner join the ranks of Weasley Clark and Bob Beckel as "commentators", heaven help us if Carter starts appearing.


75 posted on 10/15/2005 3:11:59 PM PDT by 4integrity
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To: ohioWfan

Ohio, I got home and immediately turned on Fox to hear about the vote turnout......and I'm faced with Marvin Kalb!
Off went Fox...lately, a lot of libs are turning up on Fox. I'm tired of being angry at the Dims and disgraceful biased media....listening to more music....and getting my news from FR!


76 posted on 10/15/2005 3:15:29 PM PDT by 4integrity
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To: ohioWfan
Holy COW! THIS IS IMPORTANT, FOX!! It's not your FOURTH or FIFTH story!

ABSOLUTELY!!! We have people who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this day! The rest is everyday crap compared to this.

77 posted on 10/15/2005 3:20:37 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: mainepatsfan

'Dems and MSM will have tough morning tomorrow'

Oh, don't be concerned.....they'll make up something and you can be sure it will be President Bush's fault!

God bless the Iraqi people for their courage in going out to vote, despite the dangers and GOD BLESS PRESIDENT BUSH FOR GIVING THESE BRAVE PEOPLE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE ON THEIR FUTURE.


78 posted on 10/15/2005 3:23:02 PM PDT by 4integrity
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To: proud American in Canada
Boy, you make a GREAT point there. It is for this........freedom and safety in Iraq, so that America might also be safe...........that our troops have sacrificed and in some cases given their lives.

You'd think at least Fox News would recognize that, and give it the attention it deserves.

79 posted on 10/15/2005 3:24:02 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Take comfort, Friend George, God is with thee!)
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To: 4integrity
Well, I've gotten into oldies and classical music lately.

It's a pleasant change from media bias. :)

80 posted on 10/15/2005 3:25:59 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Take comfort, Friend George, God is with thee!)
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To: daybreakcoming

The lack of adequate and accurate coverage of this amazing story is even more confirmation that the MSM has no respect for..........no make that, hates..........our troops.


81 posted on 10/15/2005 3:29:03 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Take comfort, Friend George, God is with thee!)
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To: ohioWfan
The lack of adequate and accurate coverage of this amazing story is even more confirmation that the MSM has no respect for..........no make that, hates..........our troops.

Your comment brings to mind a young man I met yesterday just home from basic training. He was at my house helping his father do a job for me. He was so atypical of our young people who are serving our country - clear-eyed and determined. I think he knew I wanted to hug his neck. :o) How can our own MSM overlook these youngsters in their zeal to bring down our government? Special place in hell for them.

82 posted on 10/15/2005 3:39:15 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: ohioWfan
Well, I've gotten into oldies and classical music lately.

Have you listened to Il Divo yet? Four young tenors that Simon got together from the States, Spain, and couple other countries and their music is well, music to my ears. Different from what I usually listen to.

83 posted on 10/15/2005 3:44:44 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: daybreakcoming
Their zeal is to bring down this fine President, and nothing will get in their way...........not even the lives and sacrifice of America's finest.

I agree. A special place is reserved for them.........

84 posted on 10/15/2005 3:45:02 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Take comfort, Friend George, God is with thee!)
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To: daybreakcoming
Il Divo? No I've not heard of them, but it sounds wonderful! I'll check them out.

I heard a group from Australia called the Ten Tenors, though, and I was blown away. All young, good looking guys with powerful operatic tenor voices. Wow!

85 posted on 10/15/2005 3:46:46 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Take comfort, Friend George, God is with thee!)
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To: daybreakcoming


86 posted on 10/15/2005 3:51:36 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: freedom44
High turnout / no major attacks / “This constitution means unity and hope.”

87 posted on 10/15/2005 3:53:01 PM PDT by Stultis
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To: i_dont_chat
It's Bush's fault!

LOLOL!! It's funny because it's true!

88 posted on 10/15/2005 3:54:54 PM PDT by Starve The Beast (I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused)
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To: freedom44

"“This is all wrong. I said ’no’ to a constitution written by the Americans,” said Jilan Shaker, 22, a laborer who showed up at a polling station in Baghdad’s Azamiyah district polling station in shorts and plastic sandals"

Of course they had to find one jibjab that was against Americans. Wonder who gave him his clothes? Prolly us nasty 'merikans.


89 posted on 10/15/2005 4:00:52 PM PDT by lawdude (Liberalism is a mental disease.)
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To: i_dont_chat
It's Bush's fault!

A word about over-used catch phrases...

They're Bush's fault!

90 posted on 10/15/2005 4:03:39 PM PDT by Stultis
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To: freedom44
A day that US and Iraqi leaders feared the MSM hoped could turn bloody turned out to be the most peaceful in months.

Don't know how that one slipped by the editors.

91 posted on 10/15/2005 4:11:42 PM PDT by B-bone
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To: evad; All

http://www.azpatriot.net/music/Bush_Was_Right.mp3


92 posted on 10/15/2005 4:12:12 PM PDT by Just A Nobody (Proud member of the Water Bucket Brigade - It's all about MOOSEMUSS)
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To: jocon307
That stood out for me, too. Really nicely put (though of course I wish he were making a statement in support of the constitution). One thing I've noticed about these Iraqis -- and maybe it's Middle Easterners in general -- is that they have a knack for capturing their thoughts with a little bit of flair.
93 posted on 10/15/2005 4:54:31 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Da Mav

Good stats, but let me help you with the term "casualties."

Casualties means wounded or killed or otherwise put out of action.

Casualties does not mean "list of only those killed."

The numbers that you are quoting are for *fatalities*.

Now you know more than the news media...as the news media is staffed by people who can't comprehend the difference between a "fatality" from that of a "casualty."

That being said, your list of fatalities shows that the terroristic insurgents are losing their ability to project power.

94 posted on 10/15/2005 4:56:47 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: mainepatsfan; Joe_October; Albion Wilde; ohioWfan; Mo1

The only time CNN showed any interest in the historic Iraqi vote was when there was gunfire heard at the close of the polls. They finally concluded, after much speculation, that it was probably 'celebatory'.

Overall, they seemed 'deeply saddened' that there wasn't more violence.

Of course the Sunday AM talk shows will be chattering over Toledo, the prospect of a Rove indictment (they hope) and how Bush's poll numbers keep dropping!


95 posted on 10/15/2005 5:24:35 PM PDT by JulieRNR21 (Outraged about a crescent at Flight 93 Memorial? Call 1-814- 443-4557 to leave comments.)
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To: All
And now a word from our real Sponsors of Free Speech

The Men and Women who serve,
and have served, our country
are the ones who make sure that
the Politicans and Judges are free to do their job.

We would not have a US Supreme Court
without the protection of the Military.

Politicans and Judges are safe
because of the Military who protect them.

TEST : Call your Senator or Congressman's office
AFTER 5 PM, or on the weekend.
IF you speak to an actual person, ask who's in charge today?

Now look up the phone number
of your local military base.
Call that number 24/7
and ask the live voice you get
to speak with the person in charge.

Send a Thank You while you enjoy your Freedom also.



96 posted on 10/15/2005 5:25:22 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a service man or woman today?)
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Comment #97 Removed by Moderator

To: EGPWS

"Where was Jimmy Carter?"

Jimmy only covers elections he supports, such as the recent one in Venezuela. That one got a clean bill of health by the way.


98 posted on 10/15/2005 5:28:23 PM PDT by strategofr (The secret of happiness is freedom. And the secret of freedom is courage.---Thucydities)
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To: Da Mav

"Just pointing that out since the media hasn't bothered to figure it out or report it. "

Thanks.


99 posted on 10/15/2005 5:29:24 PM PDT by strategofr (The secret of happiness is freedom. And the secret of freedom is courage.---Thucydities)
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To: EGPWS

"After all, without sadness and despair where would the Dem's place their focus?"

Actually, for the Democrats, today's vote is an occasion for sadness and despair.

If we really do win in Iraq, they will never quite get over it. Nor will the worldwide organized hard left (WOHL) ever stop trying to undermine Iraqi democracy.

If we succeed in Iraq, Iraq will take a permanent place next to Israel as one of the most hated regimes in the world, unless and until they can topple democracy and replace it with some murderous, torturing dictator.

Because every year of the existence of Iraqi democracy is one more year of blatant proof to the Arab street that everything they have been led to believe is one big Lie. The message will also go out to all the rest of the people in the world. Having a democratic Iraq is like having a 1000-foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty in the center of the Middle East.


100 posted on 10/15/2005 5:36:20 PM PDT by strategofr (The secret of happiness is freedom. And the secret of freedom is courage.---Thucydities)
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