I tuned into Fox news last night, and they were going on and on about how wonderfully the election in Iraq came off, spouting off about the huge voter turn-out, interviewing English-speaking Iraqis and getting them to say what a defeat this was for the "terrorists." Considering the source, I just said, "Yeah, right! Pbbbbbbblllllllllp! (attempting to spell raspberries)" and changed the channel.
Today, every newscast I have heard, even on NPR, which is a little less affected by the conservative media disease than most, reported that the elections in Iraq went well. Good news coming out of Iraq is scarce; the entire world was impressed by the bravery and determination of a larger-than-expected portion of the Iraqi electorate.
It’s impossible to concede that the American attack on Iraq was anything but an ill-considered military action that was part of a Bush machine agenda plotted long before G. W. Bush entered the White House to begin his first term. The action will always be a travesty of mammoth proportions, which brought our standing among the nations of the world to a possible all-time low. And demonstrated to the rest of the world that when the American people have been attacked, they expect their leaders to exact revenge from someone…little matter that the target of our bloodlust has no connection to the people who attacked us. This war has NOT been and never will be a shining moment in American history.
But, half-way across the world, in a country torn by violence and instability brought upon them by an outside force, millions of ordinary citizens literally took their lives in their hands and participated in what they celebrated as a free election. The first free election held in Iraq in their memory. A baby step toward advancing their country to its rightful place among the nations of the world.
Did I say ordinary citizens? No, on second thought…they are anything but ordinary. These men and women are courageous, strong, and determined. True patriots. I wonder…would I have been brave enough to journey to a polling place under the shadow of a death threat? Hats off to the Iraqi people! They may yet turn this unholy mess into a shining moment in their own history. In spite of all our efforts to "help" them.