Friday, December 16, 2005

Victory in Iraq

There is just no other way to put it but - victory in Iraq. When nearly 70% of the eligible voters in Iraq voted on December 15, 2005 to establish their first parliament while taking great risk in doing so, we have achieved an incredible victory - and so have the Iraqi people. This was the largest and most free election in the Arab world. There was dancing in the streets, almost no violence and a genuine desire on the part of the Iraqis to change their government for the better. The long lines waiting at the polling booths to vote are proof that the power of freedom is universal.

Combine this with the free elections in Afghanistan and you have a powerful win-win. Two Islamic countries which had both been oppressed. One by religious fanatics who wanted to take Afghanistan back to medieval times and the other by one of the most brutal and sadistic dictators in modern history, Saddam Hussein. That both countries are now free and their combined populations of over 50 million people have elected their own leaders by ballot is an amazing and uplifting story.

But how does the mainstream media play all this? "Ho hum." "No big deal." "Can we talk about something else now?"

As we have all learned, unless there is something bad to say the press does not want to say it. Their hatred for George Bush trumps anything that might make life better for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. This irrational hatred is the reason the days of influence for the mainstream press are growing shorter. For the best of us, this is a time of confirmation that democracy works and that it can be a viable political system for the Middle East and Islamic countries.

We only need to look today at those smiling faces in Iraq to make that positively obvious.

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