OMAR REPORTS that voter turnout in Iraq is quite high. Tom Smith says the atmosphere is like a block party. (Though one where you still have to watch out for crazed Islamist suicide bombers. . . .)

Meanwhile, an embedded reporter visiting Iraq for the first time notes the difference between media accounts and reality on the ground:

Everything I thought I knew was wrong.

Maybe not wrong, but certainly different than the picture in my head.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: A little informal exit polling in Najaf.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Gateway Pundit notes that the BBC says we’ve achieved stability in Iraq, and observes: “that headline has more shock value than a bomb in Baghdad!” He’s got a big roundup, with photos and links to video.