“Neither Per nor I is as scandalized as NPR apparently is [by allegations of voter fraud in Kurdistan]. The elections here went off without a hitch. No bombs. No violence at all. Quiet. As orderly as things get in Iraq. And, man, were the Kurds ever thrilled to vote. Per told me that in one rural village outside Erbil, info on registration procedures never got out, and hundreds of villagers were turned away from the poll. They were devastated. Democracy is life to these people — or, as one Kurdish Christian named Jacob told me: “Democracy is the best religion for mankind.” He meant that, and most Kurds agree with him. There will always be fraud and corruption in Iraq. (In one desperate moment, a cabbie here charged me 1000 times the normal rate for a short trip!) Nevertheless, these elections have been a resounding success.” – Noah Schachtman, blogging from Kurdistan.


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