A day for Celebration in Iraq AND the Allied Nations
Ok. With absolutely no due respect, this is exactly what we should do.
We should proclaim this event so loudly that even the dead inciters of terrorists past stir and wonder, what is this thing that can reach us across the veil?
We should hold everyday Iraqis up high on our shoulders and yell, "These are Heroes!"
We should rejoice, and beam images and sounds of this triumph to the darkest corners of the globe, so that every person toiling under the hard boot of despotism may know something of an alternative to base existence at the whim of tyrants.
In 1991, we shamed ourselves when we listened to the will of the international community. We accepted the line they drew in the sands of Iraq, and did not finish Saddam. We made, or at least implied, promises to the Shia and Kurds of Iraq, that if they would revolt, we would support them. Then, as thousands upon thousands of those brave people died in hopeless uprisings and subsequent massacres to serve as examples, we whined that our hands were tied by the Arab community and the U.N.
Yesterday, watching the various news channels as Iraq men and women voted, I actually felt giddy. We did this for them. We, through the procecution of war, gave all these millions of people something that decades of diplomacy and U.N. sanctions could not. We gave them their freedom.
In doing so, we redeemed ourselves at the expense of the stale ambivalence of the world "community" and the U.N., and I cannot help but feel immense relief mixed with the jubilation. Principle has overcome pride in this case, an occurrance that happens all to rarely in this world.
More importantly than what we did, the Iraqi people, slowly, cautiously, began to hope again, and began to act on that hope.
One can not be surprised that their words and actions have been guarded in light of so many factors: The loss of trust after the '91 debacle. Our own recent elections, where the opposition party would give no assurances of seeing Iraq through to liberty against the region's tyrants. Indeed, many of our opposition vowing we would leave Iraq to its fate alone if Kerry won. Europe, led by France and Germany, constantly preaching the refrain that removing Saddam was a mistake. The Arab community, full of intrigue and violent resolve, financing, arming and even manning the terrorist militias. And tying it all together, the world Press, ignoring 10 positive stories to sieze on 1 setback, painting the prospect of free elections in Iraq as merely the neo-con pipe dream of a simple-minded Cowboy.
Despite this litany of negativity, and helped in great measure by the actions of the U.S. military that the press refuses to report, the people of Iraq learned what it is again to have power over one's destiny. The people of Iraq began to join the fight against their oppressors. The terrorist organizations are losing their cohesiveness against the growing will of Iraqi citizens who are finding their voice, and in their way, proclaiming that "This will not stand".
I actually envy them. They have birthed a democracy against the most formidable of odds. Every single person who voted is a Patrick Henry. The terrorists warned them: if you participate, you will die. And millions upon millions, preliminary reports indicate as much as 72% of the voting population, acted out Patrick Henry's declaration. They chose Liberty over Life. Yes, the violence will continue and more Iraqis will die yet in this pursuit, but the tide has most definitely turned. In making their choice, the vast majority of Iraqis will have both Liberty AND Life. And they get to tell their kids, and grandkids, and great grandkids "I was there, and I played a part in the creation of this great nation." This is legendary stuff. Myth in the making.
And America and her true allies can stand proud. We gave them the opportunity and they ran with it. Hell, even those in this country who were so against any and all of Bush's policies can be proud, because their example cannot have failed to impress. The American Model cannot have failed to register on Iraqis, that if we could have those such as Michael Moore spew so much vitriol, freely and without loss of liberty, and indeed he has profited from his dissent; why, then, maybe this is a Model worth looking into. So yes, even those of the Moore and Dean crowd can take their bows. For or against the resumption of the Iraq war, your voice was heard, and in your own way, you gave the people of Iraq reason to hope for the ideal of Democracy.
We all did this, and we have much to be proud of. Kennedy and Kerry be damned, let us take a few days to celebrate our new brothers and sisters in democracy. If you know an Iraqi ex-pat, embrace them into the community of Liberty with a grin, a hug, a whoop, flash them their victory sign... whatever strikes your fancy. Throw a party for them, or get yourself invited to one of theirs, and try to catch a second-hand buzz from the true opiate of the masses: Freedom.
Triumphalism? Hype? You are damned straight, and give me more of it!
A few links:
By way of a great piece @ Right WingNuthouse: Iraq, the Model comments on election day.
Election Day photos @ Powerline.
Larry Kudlow, on the triumph of Freedom over Cynicism represented by this election. (via Real Clear Politics)
Via Mudville Gazette, quotes from Iraqis on this great day.
And this one, courtesy of Adam Keiper (by way of Lucianne), this just about sums it all up: A stirring montage for freedom, set to Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man."
Thank you Adam.