Saturday Morning Musings - Iraqi Election Day
There is a lot out there today. Some highlights from where I sit:
The Iraqi Elections
I have found several must-reads, and this LA Times profile of three Iraqis who are voting from California in today's elections is one of them. Snippets:
"This is the first time all Iraqis are coming together under one agenda," Newport Coast resident Yousif said. "These are people who have been pushed, crumbled into tiny little pieces, and finally they feel now there is hope for justice, truth and fairness."Thanks to Hugh Hewitt, here's a Belmont Club link to an interview with Chaldean Bishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk. The bishop states:
. . .
Father Gorgis, 38, is pastor of St. Paul Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church in North Hollywood . . . . He plans to vote for the People's Unity Party because he supports one of its leaders, a Chaldean expert in international law, and the party platform calling for a secular constitution.
Asked if he supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he quickly corrected the questioner.
"I don't see it as an invasion; I look at it as liberation," he said. . . .
Shali, 54, is a telecommunications entrepreneur from the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah. . . . The elections, he said, may finally usher in the freedom for his homeland that he has marveled at in the United States.
"Americans who live in this country don't treasure this freedom," he said. "Americans take it for granted. If only they came from somewhere that's oppressed."
[T]he current government is provisional but, after the elections, it will be the result of popular vote. Iraqis have the opportunity to choose their leaders, those they prefer. The elections are something immense and new. Nothing of the kind has happened in the past 50 years: first because of clashes and revolts, then due to 35 years of dictatorship. There has never been freedom of expression. But now, anything is possible: If there are people and parties arguing and clashing, that is because they are free to do so. Now, Iraqis must learn to discuss in a civil manner. But the people of Iraq have never been trained for coexistence; they have always lived in the midst of violence: three wars, a dictatorship, 13 years of embargo. This is why freedom is not used in a responsible way and problems arise.Read Hugh generally today; his site is rich with great links. He broadcast from the the old Marine Corps Air Station El Toro Friday as Iraqis from across the western United States travelled there to vote. Alas, I could not listen.
Finally, Steven Hadley, President Bush's National Security Advisor, writing in the Washington Post:
After more than three decades of unspeakable tyranny and a year of terror and intimidation, the very fact of this election will be a triumph for the Iraqi people and a defeat for the terrorists. Instead of exaggerating any imperfections, democrats around the world should celebrate the election as both a milestone in the advance of liberty and a source of profound hope to all the people of Iraq.The Democrats' Scorched-Earth Strategy
I've been impressed (negatively) by the Democrat Party's over-the-top approach to every major issue (Barbara Boxer abusing Condi Rice, Ted Kennedy ranting in his borderline traitorous speech on Iraq at Johns Hopkins, Harry Reid claiming Bush aims to "destroy" Social Security). Fred Barnes analyzes that, ah, excessive approach here and argues that it won't work if the White House responds appropriately.