With just over a week until the Iraq elections, Amir Taheri in the Arab News notes what is at stake:
Never have so many people pinned so much hope on a single day of voting, Jan. 30, 2005, that is to give Iraq its first freely elected Parliament plus provincial and regional councils.
The election will not only set the course for the 25 million Iraqis but could also determine a new balance of power in the Middle East. Beyond Iraq, the election will confirm or challenge the United States’ status as a “superpower” capable of reshaping the regional status quo. President George W. Bush has vowed to bring the Middle East into “the global democratic mainstream”, with Iraq as the starting point. Success could boost his prestige and encourage local democratic forces. Failure would mark the beginning of a decline in American influence, and revitalize forces determined to keep Muslim nations out of the modern world.
You begin to see why so many on the Left yearn for a resounding defeat of democratic ideals--they are desperately hoping for a "decline in American influence". The same hope abounded about Afghanistan before its elections, and now that that country has transitioned to democracy, the Left couldn't care less. Now that women are not under the hateful oppression of the Taliban, the Women's Movement couldn't care less. Now that the Afghanis and the Iraqis have a chance--for the first time in history--to determine their own fate--International ANSWER couldn't care less.
Since Bush was successful in Afghanistan, the Democrats couldn't care less about Afghanistan. They now hang their pathetic hopes on Bush's failure in Iraq. They couldn't care less about Freedom.
What they actually care about is Power, and in that, they share motivation with the likes of OBL, Zarqawi and every totalitarian scumbag from Washington to Baghdad and beyond.
Ah, come on! you might say--50% of the U.S. population doesn't like the war in Iraq. You can't say that they are all scumbags! Well, that is true. Some of them are just idiots. But about 25% of them have sold their soul (if they ever had one to begin with) to the ideologues whose main goal is the destruction of everything this country stands for--and to prevent the spread of Freedom and Democracy. If being liberal EVER stood for something, it stood for those two things. If being "progressive" EVER meant anything, it meant the joyful celebration of freedom and looking forward, not backward.
The line in the sand has been drawn. Iraqis will choose which side they are on in a week. The Afghanis have already chosen. Let us not forget who it was that gave them the chance to choose. It won't be smooth-going; it might not be pretty; it could continue to be violent and contentious. But like the formation of a brilliant star from the cataclysmic reactions in its core--it will be wonderful to behold. I sincerely wish the Iraqi people the all the strength, courage, and wisdom they require to reclaim their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
The Left and the Democrats must also choose. Will they come down on the side of Freedom? Will they have the courage to stand up and say "YES" to democracy in Iraq? To Freedom in the Middle East? To Liberty for All? Or will they whine and whimper and sulk and pout, shouting NO, NO, NO to the wave of Freedom sweeping the world? Either way, the future is coming, and it has Liberty written all over it.
The Iraqis understand what is at stake for them--to read their thoughts, go here, here, and a summation here.