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Monday, October 17, 2005

The Iraqi Vote

This Spiral of Lies post expresses something that I think is very true:

I am watching the results of the Iraqi Constitutional voting, amazed. Amazed that no one is talking about this vote in the proper historical context. Because today will be as important to the War on Terror as the fall of the Berlin Wall was to the Cold War.
I remember quite vividly the fall of the Berlin Wall. It probably is as integral to my political beliefs as anything else. I was a senior in high school, which put that event right at the time my political viewpoints were beginning to solidly form, it was part of my growing up. I don't know if those who are much younger than me can understand our view of the world before the Berlin Wall fell and then the breakup of the Soviet Union. Nuclear apocalypse seemed not a question of if, but when. We didn't go around moping that the world was about to end, but in the back of our mind was the certain knowledge that armageddon was just 30 minutes away and it seemed inevitable that someone would be crazy or foolish enough to pull the trigger. The TV movie The Day After was considered as much future history as it was fiction. It was just a question of inevitable. And then, out of nowhere, the Berlin Wall was being torn down. I think that since that time I have fundamentally been an optomist. I believe that people are generally good and want to be free, to work out their own destiny, fearful as that may be sometimes. I am not naive, I remember Tiananmen Square as well as I remember the Berlin Wall. Good doesn't always win over evil. But good can win over evil, and usually will if we don't forget that it can. Tiananmen Square taught me that a peaceful protest will not route a tyrant. The Berlin Wall taught me that people everywhere long for freedom. The two together are why I believed, and believe, invading Iraq was necessary and moral. There are other reasons as well, reasons why it was in our interest to do so, but without the U.S. military Iraq would not have seen freedom for at least a generation. Without the spirit of the Iraqi people and their desire for freedom the U.S. military could at best exchange one tyrant for another. Obviously Saturday's vote wasn't as dramatic as the fall of the Berlin Wall. In many ways, the most striking thing about the vote is the absence of drama. Little violence, and an air of almost normalcy in the voting. The huge news of the day was that there was no news. Think about that for a minute and realize just how dramatic that really is. Of course things could still go bad in Iraq. The violence is certainly not over and there remain political disputes in Iraq's future that could erupt into civil war. Things continue to improve in Iraq though, and dramatically so. When the Berlin Wall fell, no one knew if it would mean a lasting peace or not. No one could have been sure then that two years later the Soviet Union would no longer be a country, and that it would have disappeared peacefully. There were real chances that things could have gone wrong; horribly, disasterously wrong. Thankfully they didn't. Iraq could go wrong as well, but the odds are a lot better that it won't, and looking better and better with each milestone passed. (Spirit of Lies post via Instapundit)


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