I've had time to contemplate the historic, momentous democratic election that took place in Iraq on Sunday.
Its a fundamental turning point, not just for Iraq, but for all Arab nations!
Iraqi's have repudiated the terrorists, and delivered the message loud and clear to the ENTIRE world: A new Iraq has been born, a new nation has been created, freedom is more powerful that fear.
The images of Iraqi's voting and dancing in the streets joyous, excited and filled with pride, overwhelms me.
With the exception of the dems that for the most part are still upset about losing the US election, so many people in Canada, the US and Europe, (including those less than supportive often cynical journalists in the main stream media) have been moved, and their spirits lifted, by the courage and determination of the Iraqi's who voted under the real threat of death, and of the tenacity of the US troups, who have been strong in their resolve to risk their lives to spread freedom and democracy in the heart of the arab world.
The terrorists can no longer claim any moral justification to continue their assault on Iraqi's and in turn Americans, and trust me, these terrorists, KNOW this. It was one of the reasons they wanted to prevent these elections.
It would be naive to assume that even without moral justification, they will cease their assault on Iraqi's, Americans, democracy and freedom. They won't, but the longer they continue, the more they will anger and alienate the Arab world. These terrorists cannot prevent the spread of democracy through intimidation and fear, and thats got to scare them, because that was their most powerful weapon!
Early on in his presidency, Mr. Bush outlined his very ambitious vision for the Middle East. In his Inaugural Address on January 20th, his theme focused on the spread of democracy and freedom. Some Dem\ocrats, Europeans, Canadians, and Arabs, laughed, derided and mocked both his vision for the Middle East, and his recent inaugural address; yet a close examination of what's transpired throughout the Middle East bears review.
On Sept 11, 2001 Terrorists waged war on our soil and set into motion their own destruction.
The Taliban have all but disappeared, Afghanistan has a democratically elected gov't and it's citizens lives have changed in great postive ways.
Women now have the right to vote, are learning to be self sufficent in farming, and along with Afghanistan's youth are being educated and taught to read; music, art and literature are flourishing, highways and roads connecting the country have been constructed, an Afghani security force is in place which is getting stronger and bigger.
The seeds of democracy were planted in Afghanistan, took root, and have now blossomed. I have no doubt they will continue to bear fruit!
Iraq has held its first real democratic election, and Iraqi's will now begin to form their first constitution;George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln would be so proud. I have no doubt they are smiling down on all Iraqi's!
Men, Women, Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, have all voted and demonstrated courage in the face of extreme danger . The silent majority, those that have been hostile to America's presence in their country, viewing them as an occupation force, stood up nonetheless and said we will not have terrorists deny us the right to shape our country as we see fit - we will not be intimated! Freedom is intoxicating and more powerful than fear!
Over 3/4 of the provinces in Iraq are safe, the infra structures in those areas are running relatively well, and I have great hope that this new found feeling of empowerment now experienced by the Iraqi's will enable them to continue to stand up for themselves, and work with US forces keep these terrorists at bay by providing intelligence as to their whereabouts.
We do know that in certain areas, Soldiers and Marines, who have given toys candy and gifts received from generous Americans, Canadians, and Europeans, to Iraqi children, have formed a bond of friendship and trust with the children and its the children that are providing our troups with intelligence!
As the follow the troups around when they are on patrol, they will point out where IEDS are hidden, and send a covert subtle signal to our troups as to where the terrorist are hiding when they suddenly stop following them into certain parts of the city! We have won over the heart and minds of Iraqi children who are the future of a free and democratic Iraq!
The death of Arafat, who stood in the way of any peace process between Isrealis and Palestians, occured and a newly democratically elected leader has signalled a message of hope and reconciliation between the two countries, and now Isreal, with Egypts help no less, is working towards honestly resolving long standing hatred and issues with the Palestians. I can't help but feel that Pres.Bush's vision was so powerful that divine intervention took care of Arafat.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, have recently undergone incredible changes, and the ripples and echoes of these changes are being felt in all Arab nations. . Some arabs are pro actively engaging in dialogue to bring about democracy in their own countries. The meme of democracy and freedom is spreading!
Since there exists a phoney democracy in Iran, Iranian Shiat Leaders are well aware of the implications this momentous day in Iraq poses for their country. Its only a matter of time until the winds of change blow through Iran scattering the seeds of democracy and freedom and as those seeds take root in the hearts and minds of Iranians, a true democracy will come to fruition.
This is a great beginning,but as the euphoria of the Iraqi election subsides, we need to remember that the path to democracy is a slow and messy process, that still requires trust, faith, tenacity and patience on the part of Iraqi's, Europeans, Canadians, Americans, Our Troups and Coalition Partners.
President Bush reminded us that freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul.
On Jan 30th, 2005, the courage of ordinary people helped light the flame of democracy in what had once been a very dark corner of the world, and today the entire world is a much brighter place.