Monday, October 17, 2005

No Longer An Imitation

Hammarabi, an Iraqi blogger, tallies up the vote and comments:

Based on this we can say congratulation for the Iraqis with a big YES for the constitution which is passed.Over all how nice it is to be free and votes then calculate like the other civilized nations and not 99.999% yes for one person or one family under the barbaric dictatorship regimes.

This quote reminds me of a conversation I had once with a Russian, who was in the U.S. officially for a NASA-related event some years ago. It was before the breakup of the old Soviet Union, and this scientist, who was walking with me in a Houston mall commented wistfully, " It must be so nice to have an ordinary life where you can do things so normal like buy a bottle of perfume."

When I asked what she meant, she replied that what was everyday "normal" in my life, was an extraordinary event of momentous proportions in hers. "You have a real life," she emphasized, "Ours in the Soviet Union is only an imitation."

I think that is very eloquent. The Iraqis have a real life now--not an imitation one imposed by Saddam. I am not discounting the violence and the work that is yet to be done there, but for the first time Iraqis have a chance to have a normal life pursuing their own happiness and not the whims of a sadistic dictator and his thugs.

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