Monday, December 06, 2004

Freedom is Spreading

This article by Arthur Chrenkoff in the Wall Street Journal is jam-packed with good news from Iraq. It seems that the Iraqis are eager for elections. Here's an excerpt:

It takes a lot to get a man of God annoyed, and Louis Sako, the Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, is a very frustrated man these days. "It is not all death and destruction," says the archbishop. "Much is positive in Iraq today. . . . Universities are operating, schools are open, people go out onto the streets normally. . . . Where there's a kidnapping or a homicide the news gets out immediately, and this causes fear among the people. . . . Those who commit such violence are resisting against Iraqis who want to build their country."

It's not just the terrorists who, according to His Eminence, are creating problems for Iraq: Elections in January "will be a starting point for a new Iraq," he says. Yet "Western newspapers and broadcasters are simply peddling propaganda and misinformation. . . . Iraqis are happy to be having elections and are looking forward to them because they will be useful for national unity. . . . Perhaps not everything will go exactly to plan, but, with time, things will improve. Finally Iraqis will be given the chance to choose. Why is there so much noise and debate coming out from the West when before, under Saddam, there were no free elections, but no one said a thing?" (emphasis mine).

Why are the major news sources still emphasizing the negative? Not a day goes by that I don't read that someone, somewhere is recommending the elections should be postponed. This does not appear to be what the Iraqis want. Read Chrenkoff's entire article to learn about the 156 political parties that have been formed! Charles Krauthammer has an excellent op-ed piece that came out last week exactly on this topic:

In 1864, 11 of the 36 United States did not participate in the presidential election. Was Lincoln's election therefore illegitimate? In 1868, three years after the security situation had, shall we say, stabilized, three states (not insignificant ones: Texas, Virginia and Mississippi) did not participate in the election. Was Grant's election illegitimate?
There has been much talk that if the Iraqi election is held and some Sunni Arab provinces (perhaps 3 of the 18) do not participate, the election will be illegitimate. Nonsense. The election should be held. It should be open to everyone. If Iraq's Sunni Arabs -- barely 20 percent of the population -- decide they cannot abide giving up their 80 years of minority rule, ending with 30 years of Saddam's atrocious tyranny, then tough luck. They forfeit their chance to shape and participate in the new Iraq.

Exactly. Democracy is the future, and those who want to be part of the future of Iraq will vote in January. Those who are the enemies of the future won't. The media--by only focusing on the violence and the attempts to stop the future from unfolding--are missing a terrific story about the power of Freedom. They missed it in Afghanistan (heard anything about what's going on there lately??) and they are missing it in Iraq. People, this is a miraculous process. What happened in Afghanistan was unbelievable! Not perfect--but incredible all the same. Noone ever said it was going to be easy, BUT IT IS HAPPENING.

In spite of the propaganda and misinformation. In spite of the death, violence and intimidation. Freedom is spreading in the Middle East. Five years ago, who would have thought such a thing was possible?

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