While Iraqis rejoice over their opportunity to vote to decide the future of their nation, there is a surprising lack of enthusiasm here in the United States over this unprecedented world-shaking event. I cannot understand why what is going to happen this weekend in Iraq hasn’t stirred my fellow Americans as it has stirred the Iraqi people.
For the first time Iraqis will be free to vote and decide their own destiny. More than a 1000 Americans have given their lives to bring about this signal event in the history of our times, yet the reaction here at home is little more than a yawn.
In recent days I have spoken to Iraqis here in the U.S. The other day I talked to a 65-year-old judge, the first female judge appointed in Iraq back in 1959. I also spoke to a friend of hers, a doctor who came to the U.S. in 1997. She is a Kurd and was among those attacked by Saddam Hussein’s henchmen in the infamous poison gas incident.
She told me she felt as if she was 18 again. Both women were so excited over this weekend’s elections they were giggling like a couple of school girls.
I tried to put myself in their shoes and asked myself how I would feel if 30 or 40 years ago the United States had been taken over by a despotic leader and anybody who spoke up against him and his dictatorship was taken out along with their family, executed and dumped into mass graves. And although you loved your country you could no longer live here because if you did your chances of dying were great.
So you had to leave the U.S. and go someplace else to live because staying here was no longer safe. But despite your fears you continued to love your country and never gave up the hope that you might someday be able to go home.
And then a miracle happened. Another nation comes to the U.S. and drives out the dictator and his brutal regime and now, for the first time in your life, you are given a chance to cast a vote in a free election and go home.
Wouldn’t you be excited as the day approached? That’s how Iraqis feel. They have been freed and they are about to enjoy the fruits of their new freedom.
These elections will change the whole dynamic of the world. If the United States is able to succeed at what we are trying to do in the Middle East, with Iraq in the beginnings of democracy, this election signals a new era in modern history.
Yet all we hear from the likes of Ted Kennedy and his fellow liberals is negativity, negativity, negativity. It is so outrageous that these people cannot see that freedom is about to break out in an area where it is all but unknown. All we hear from them is, “What’s your plan? What’s your exit strategy?” Yet they are seeing it unfold before their very eyes with this Sunday’s election. They refuse to see the direction Iraq is going and the direction the president is taking us- which is towards freedom, liberty, and ultimately because of that, a better and safer world for all of us.
Those on the left have their own plan – whatever the president is for they are against. If the President was for blue skies they’d be promoting rain.
The sad truth of the matter is that they want our Iraq policy to fail. They see failure as a way to regain power in the highest offices of the land, from the White House to Capitol Hill.
In Iraq, the people are so happy to have a chance to vote they are willing to risk being killed. Contrast this with the Rev. Jesse Jackson complaining that some people in Ohio had to stand in line for 12 hours to vote last November. Here in the U.S. there are only five places where Iraqis can vote. Some people are spending 12 hours just to get to the polling places.
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