Monday, January 31, 2005

Freedom has a Price

The Senescent Man raises an interesting point in his commentary on “The end of the beginning” below. Eight million Iraqis voted on Sunday, even as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi called democracy an “evil principle”, and threatened to “wash the streets” in blood if Iraqis went to the polls. This equaled or exceeded the percentage turnout in the last U.S. Presidential election, where voter turnout takes a dive if it is raining outside. It is unfathomable to think what would happen if we had to risk being machine-gunned or exploded while waiting in line to cast our ballots. Defeated democratic U.S. Presidential candidate John Kerry whined yesterday that it was hard to call the Iraqi election legitimate “when whole portions of the country can’t vote and didn’t vote”. He was referring to the Sunni triangle population, where, to no-ones surprise turnout was only half that of the rest of the country due to an elevated terrorist presence and threat in that area, along with the threat from ordinary Iraqi citizens who clearly remember the recent past when Saddam Hussein and the Sunni party were in power. Of course, Senator Kerry and the democrats make the same observation about Florida or Ohio when their side loses there, too.

We should be reminded that freedom does not come easy, it has a price, sometimes a great one. Even the birth of the U.S. was very rocky, with a violent war and many differing opinions on what type of government we should have. There were even calls to crown George Washington King. There were many ways we could have done it wrong, but we didn’t, and two hundred and eighteen years later it is hard to imagine that the success of our current system was ever in doubt. Of course, if some of the MSM pundits or notable Democrats were around at the time, they would have blamed the entire operation on passionate desire to control the tea trade rather than on a burning desire for freedom. It is always right to pursue the path that your heart tells you is correct, as President Bush did. And any misgivings about Mr. Bush’s vision for Iraq can be cured by the words and actions of those who oppose it.

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