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"This time, we have a real election, not just the sham elections we had under Saddam, and we Sunnis want to participate in the political process"

7:59 AM, Dec 16, 2005 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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John Burns of the New York Times continues his first-rate reporting from Iraq.

On a day when the high voter turnout among Sunni Arabs was the main surprise, Ali and his posse of friends, unguarded as boys can be, acted like a chorus for the scene unfolding about them. A new willingness to distance themselves from the insurgency, an absence of hostility for Americans, a casual contempt for Saddam Hussein, a yearning for Sunnis to find a place for themselves in the post-Hussein Iraq - the boys' themes were their parents', too, only more boldly expressed.