Sunday, January 30, 2005

Fire Spreads!

In Iraq, the polls are officially closed, and by all accounts there has been huge turnout. The fire has caught, and though the ink will eventually wash off their fingers, the mark of freedom is on their hearts and will be much harder for anyone to erase. Despite threats, bombings, shootings, quisling press and general mayhem, 2/3rds of registered voters came to the polls. Of course, those dictators in the region who have so much to loose will point out that there are thus thousands who didn’t vote…while ignoring the millions in their own countries who cannot vote. They should be afraid. This untamed fire of freedom, having burned bright in Iraq, now threatens to spread through the wires of the internet, through families spanning borders, through books, newspapers and word of mouth in coffee shops and checker games.

Should the elections have been delayed? I think that has been answered. Were these perfect elections? Nope. But then, with a higher turnout than the US seems capable of, small irregularities are to be expected (Chicago, anyone?). I hope that someone chokes the first politician here in the US who has the temerity to suggest that this is not a mandate for freedom and democracy there, that we should have delayed the election, or that the President has somehow screwed this up.

This is not the end. Hard work must continue, blood will still be shed. This does not guarantee freedom there. Freedom is not the natural state of mankind this side of heaven, and for that reason it must be cherished and guarded diligently, once it is attained. The cost is high, the price paid by young and old, man and woman, soldier and civilian is great. I wish them the best on this difficult journey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very impressive.