« Is Bart Stupak Hinting He's About to Cave? | Main | Rep. Eric Massa unloads on Democrats »

Iraqis: Knowing what it means to thirst for freedom

Bret Stephens:

Iraqi.jpg
It began nearly on the day that Saddam's statue in central Baghdad was brought down by American soldiers as jubilant Iraqis looked on. "This war was not worth a child's finger," wrote the English novelist Julian Barnes in a Guardian op-ed. That was published fully a year before the insurgency got underway, when the argument could not be made--as it was later made--that democracy is all well and good but that order of any kind, even tyrannical order, is much to be preferred.

For the next seven years, the insurgents murdered coalition soldiers and Iraqi civilians with equal abandon, right up to the morning of the election. Yet somehow the killing sprees (grotesquely replete with the cutting off of children's fingers) were treated by the world's great opiners not as the acts of evil men to be confronted and stopped, but purely as a function of the American presence in Iraq.

In this strange moral calculus, all the blood that was shed--including American blood--was on America's hands. It was also, by implication, a stain on America's "experiment" of "imposing" democracy on so obviously unwilling a people.

In the midst of those bloodbaths, the U.S. ceded civilian control to Iraqi authorities, who then conducted four democratic elections. I still remember the incredulity among the war's opponents, bordering on open dismay, when the parliamentary elections five years ago proved an inspiring success.

But the critics could relax, at least for a few years: The killing in Iraq did not abate. Successive Iraqi prime ministers were treated with none of the deference Western diplomats would routinely accord the masters of Egypt or Vietnam or even Syria. The division of Iraq was a respectable topic of conversation.

And yet throughout all of this, Iraqis somehow held fast to their idea of a democratic country. How was that possible? How could they not behave according to type, as inveterate sectarians and anti-Americans? Didn't they perhaps miss the political clarity that dictatorship uniquely provides?

The late Michael Kelly knew the answer, and the answer was that Iraqis, unlike most of us in the West, knew tyranny, and therefore also knew what it meant to thirst for freedom.

Read the rest and understand that those who stroll the corridors of power today in America seem to thirst for many things... but freedom? 

Not so much.

It's a foreboding thing.

Crossposted(*).


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/38437.

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Iraqis: Knowing what it means to thirst for freedom:

Comments (2)

Kris Kristofferson is an Ir... (Below threshold)
914:

Kris Kristofferson is an Iraqi?

Thank you Mr. Bush!... (Below threshold)
MF:

Thank you Mr. Bush!




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy