UPDATE 9/18 10:30am PST
Poll’s have closed and Democracy win’s again:
Afghans chose a legislature for the first time in decades Sunday, embracing their newly recovered democratic rights and braving threats of Taliban attacks to cast votes in schools, tents and mosques.
Violence in the hours before voting began and during the day killed 15 people, including a French commando in the U.S.-led coalition that is helping Afghans build a democracy after a quarter-century of conflict. But there were no signs of a spectacular attack threatened by Taliban militants to disrupt the vote.
Sunday’s vote was considered the last formal step toward democracy on a path set out after a U.S.-led force drove the Taliban from power in 2001, when they refused to hand over al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden following the Sept. 11 attacks.
How about this quote from California Yankee:
“I am so happy, so happy,” says Khatereh Mushafiq, 18, her black veil decorated with white flowers pulled back from her beaming face as she went to vote at a girl’s school in Kandahar.
“We (women) are also now taking part in the government and in society. People must take part, people must have a say.”
Normblog has a great bio on one of the female candidates:
“If elected I will face up to the old men with guns that destroyed our country,” said the 25-year-old development worker on the final day of campaigning. “Now it is our turn to fight with them.”
There is this report from Publius Pundit about the mood prior to the election:
On the plus side, the euphoria is overwhelming. Almost the entire country is caught up in election fever. There is hardly any city, town, or village where there are no election activities planned. With three days to go, the excitement and anxiety are beyond description. There are huge posters and banners appearing on every conceivable surface in the capital, from rooftops to buildings to lampposts. Cars and vans equipped with loudspeakers travel throughout the city, announcing various candidate messages. Mosques and town halls are reserved for public meetings. The campaign process will end tomorrow, Friday September 16, about 48 hours before the polls open.
And here is a roundup of some more picture:
The Afghan people are voting as we speak and I couldn’t be prouder. Proud for the Afghan people who now have a voice and proud for our Country who made it happen.
Enthusiasm among Afghans to vote in their first free legislative elections in more than 30 years has been high and the commander of US forces in the country predicted a record turnout of the 12.5 million registered to vote.
Gateway Pundit has a great poem up:
Imagine never having a voice.
Imagine being nearly 50 years old and never having voted.
Imagine never having a choice.
Imagine not having a say in your world.
Imagine not having a voice.
Imagine, if you were born a woman, not having a voice, an education, or a worth.
Last year there was success.
Last year they said it would never be done.
It was a great success.
But, this year has been difficult.
The Taliban is threatening again.
The Taliban is killing again.
The Taliban knows that democracy and freedom are its enemy.
Now, imagine being a witness.
Imagine being a witness to today’s miraculous event.
Imagine being a witness to hundreds and hundreds and thousands of people walking, riding, lining up in a dangerous land.
Imagine, if you can, how these people must be feeling.
What these people must be feeling.
Imagine them knowing they are risking their lives.
Today they are risking their lives.
Is it a selfish thing that they are doing?
Is it for their future?
Or, is it that they are tired.
Tired of fighting.
Or, maybe, it is a gift they are giving their childen.
A gift of democracy.
A gift of choice.
A gift of freedom.
The Taliban and Al-Qaeda will lose this war. For those who doubt the power of Democracy (the Left) just sit on your ass and continue watching. You have seen two nations free’d from horror and still you do nothing but cry and complain. Shame.