Wednesday, January 26, 2005
IRAQ PESSIMISTS' REAL FEAR
Another must read for all those defeatists, dems, lefties, etc. These are the people, who forp olitical reasons, want thse election to fail. For all their bluster and noise, the bottom line for them, is politics and nothing more. - Sailor
IRAQ PESSIMISTS' REAL FEAR
By John Podhoretz
Mew York Post
January 26, 2005 -- IN just four days, Iraqis will go to the polls to vote in an election that could prove to be a hinge moment in history. All indications are that some 80 percent of Iraq's electorate will go to the polls, a level of turnout that would put most of the world's established democracies in the shade.
For the sake of contrast, consider that turnout in this year's presidential election was 60 percent of all those eligible to vote — and that was the most substantial rate of participation in 36 years.
Even in Israel, where everybody talks politics the way we talk about the weather and turnout is routinely the highest in the world, only 62 percent of the population voted in the last major election.
Yet a deep pessimism pervades the discussion of the coming election in the English-language press.
To the extent that the pessimism is based on fears of an election day terrorist calamity, it's hard to argue with. The relentless suicide-bombing campaign of the last few months raises the specter of an all-out onslaught against voters on Sunday.
But others speak in pessimistic tones about the inability or the unwillingness of the residents of the "Sunni Triangle" to participate. Sunni Muslims, who were the dominant force in Saddam Hussein's regime, constitute 20 percent of Iraq's population. And yet the argument is seriously made that a Sunni boycott will invalidate the election results.
If white South Africans had refused to participate in that nation's first-ever free elections back in 1994, nobody on earth would have argued that their lack of participation invalidated the election results.
Now, it will certainly be tragic if Sunnis who wish to vote are forcibly prevented from doing so by the terrorists in their midst. But those Sunnis' best chance to secure their freedom to vote at a later date will emerge from a viable result in Sunday's elections.
Why? Because once a legitimately elected Iraqi assembly is seated, the insurgents will have no argument left with which to advance their cause — except for the open hatred of liberty.
The latest tape from Iraq's terrorist master, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, made that point crystal clear. "We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology," Zarkawi says. "Anyone who tries to help set up this system is part of it."
Note that Zarqawi doesn't say he's fighting imperialism, or foreign invaders on Iraqi soil, or any other (and far more seductive) argument. He is waging war on democracy inside Iraq — on the right of Iraqis to choose their own leaders and structure their own governments.
Zarqawi is a very frightening and very evil man, a destructive force with hundreds of gallons of American and Iraqi blood on his hands. Iraqis and Americans alike have reason to be concerned about his declaration of war. But calling democracy "evil" is a self-defeating exercise. By doing so, he is including among the evildoers all Iraqis who go to the polls.
His fight will no longer be with Western devils, but with Iraqi patriots. There is a very real likelihood that under such conditions, his insurgency will collapse from the inside or will merely transition into becoming a brutal gang of parasites who use kidnapping and the threat of terrorism to extort money, pure and simple.
So let's talk turkey about the dark talk emanating from the media and opinion leaders this week.
Their pessimism isn't really based in concern about Iraq's elections. It's really based in concern about the success of American policy in Iraq.
Anti-Bush partisans — both Democrats and Leftist ideologues — understand that if the elections are seen as a triumph, they will be seen as Bush's triumph, and they cannot stomach it.
And for those who are still mired in the foreign-policy conservatism of the past, success on Sunday will place them permanently on the shoulder of the road to the future, thumbs outstretched.
Once they were the drivers. In a world with a free Iraq, they will be hitchhikers. Maybe what they're really pessimistic about isn't Iraq's future but their own.