Monday, January 31 2005
THE PURPLE REVOLUTION:

The images from yesterday's election in Iraq are proof that pictures really are worth a thousand words - and in some cases much more than that.

In fact, at times words seemed wholly inadequate to describe the scope of what we witnessed yesterday. The courage, determination, anxiety, and hope exhibited by the Iraqi people was so powerful it moved all but the most hardened, Bush-hating hearts.

Even Gail Collins & Co. at the New York Times were brought to their editorial knees over yesterday's vote - albeit somewhat grudgingly:

This page has not hesitated to criticize the Bush administration over its policies in Iraq, and we continue to have grave doubts about the overall direction of American strategy there. Yet today, along with other Americans, whether supporters or critics of the war, we rejoice in a heartening advance by the Iraqi people. For now at least, the multiple political failures that marked the run-up to the voting stand eclipsed by a remarkably successful election day.

The Washington Post was even more bold:

For the emerging democratic regime to have any chance of taking root, U.S. soldiers will have to continue fighting, and dying, to protect it. The elections probably won't make their job any easier, or the price any lower, in the short term. Yesterday, however, Americans finally got a good look at who they are fighting for: millions of average people who have suffered for years under dictatorship and who now desperately want to live in a free and peaceful country. Their votes were an act of courage and faith -- and an answer to the question of whether the mission in Iraq remains a just cause.

Did yesterday's election provide vindication for President Bush' Iraq policy? We can't know how things will progress in the months and years ahead, but certainly in the very short-term the answer has to be "yes."

One thing the vote in Iraq demonstrated in a very striking and palpable way is the power of the franchise. The election in Iraq confirmed Bush's belief that people around the world will, when given a chance, embrace the principle of democracy and self-governance. That, in turn, lends support to Bush's larger vision that the spread of democracy around the world - but especially in a place like the Arab Middle East - is vital to U.S. national security interests.

Only time will tell if January 30, 2005 will go down as one of the most important dates in modern history. I happen to believe it will. But between now and when the history books are written it was enough, at least for me, to stand by on a Sunday and marvel at the courage of people half a world away. - T. Bevan 9:35 am Link | Email | Send to a Friend

 
 

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