Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Would I have had the courage?

NAJAF, Iraq, Feb. 1 - Salim Yacoubi bent over to kiss the purple ink stain on his twin brother's right index finger, gone cold with death.

"You can see the finger with which he voted," Shukur Jasim, a friend of the dead man, said as he cast a tearful gaze on the body, sprawled across a washer's concrete slab. "He's a martyr now."

The stain marked the hard-won right to vote that Naim Rahim Yacoubi exercised Sunday, and the price he paid for that privilege. . . .

At polling centers hit by explosions, survivors refused to go home, steadfastly waiting to cast their votes as policemen swept away bits of flesh.

I would like to think that, if I were an Iraqi, I would have braved the danger and voted, but that is easy to say from the frozen tundra in Minnesota. Anyway, I continue to marvel at the unbelievable courage of 8 million Iraqis.

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