January 30, 2005 marks the beginning of a new era in Iraq, a day when amid threats of death and destruction, more
than 72% of the population of Iraq braved the deadly streets for the single purpose of exercising their new found freedom of
Terrorists launched several suicide bombing attacks, managing to kill some 36 Iraqi patriots on their way to the polls, but it didn’t deter the people of Iraq from showing up at the polls in astounding numbers, proving once again that freedom and liberty belong to only the brave.
Iraqi men and women took to the streets, some walking miles through a gauntlet of terrorist threat just to vote, just to have a chance at freedom and democracy. They knew the risks they were taking with their own lives, they had received the threats, some of them on a very personal level, and still they were ready to have a say about the future of their country.
As I watched the events unfold on TV, I couldn’t help but think about the great sacrifices made by the brave in our own country not so long ago, to guarantee Americans the freedoms and liberties we all take for granted today.
I also couldn’t help but think about all the naysayer’s here and abroad, who were convinced that this day would be the bloodiest day in Iraq’s history, and that the Iraqi people would not support democracy in their own land, or that their fear of the terrorists would overcome their will to be free… They were wrong, really wrong, not even in the ball park.
As our nation’s most prominent coward Teddy Kennedy stood before the world calling for our troops to leave the Iraqi people in a vacuum of terror after all they have been through for more than 40 years, the Iraqi people calmly demonstrated unparalleled courage and so did our troops and our President.
As I watched CNN scamper across Iraq searching for footage of the latest suicide bombing, I watched FOX on another screen, interviewing voter after voter, tracking voter turnout across the country and speaking with Iraqi poll workers who risked their lives for 24 hours solid, as they helped voters exercise their new found rights.
In the once fear filled eye’s of Iraqi citizens I saw hope, I saw jubilation on the faces of people who have never known a day without terror in their lives. It was a sight to be celebrated, cherished and played over and over again, so that people everywhere, including America, can be reminded of the value of freedom, and that every man, woman and child in the world deserves no less.
America experienced its largest voter turnout in decades in the 2004 election with a turnout of about 60% of registered voters. There were no suicide attacks, no threats of death and destruction, no snipers, and no terrorists leaflets handed out in our neighborhoods warning us to stay home. Just an overly complacent electorate that has lost its zeal for the freedom we enjoy everyday.
Bush was right, a thirst for freedom and personal liberty rests in the hearts of every human being on earth, and no one man deserves it more or less than another.
He was right that the Iraqi people want us there to provide this possibility, and that they need us there to secure their future as much as is humanly possible. He was right that these people are prepared to risk life to have a future they never thought possible before America intervened.
Nobody including Bush thought it would be easy, without cost. Freedom has always come at the highest possible price, always paid in the blood of those willing to fight for it.
Those unwilling to fight for the freedom of others deserve no freedom themselves…
Those unwilling to fight for another’s security and liberty deserve no security or liberty of their own…
In a utopian world, we would have no brutal dictators, no terrorists, no suicide bombers and every individual would be free. But in this world, evil people exist and all it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.
Our election in 2004 was decided on this basis alone. I and many others have written about the motivating factor of morality in our last election and we were right. But moral is as moral does, it isn’t found in words, but rather in deeds and there is nothing more morally right than risking our own life and liberty for the freedom and liberty of others…There is no more just cause.
America’s cowards will continue quibbling over the WMD in Iraq that everyone, including the cowards themselves, said existed. But Americas best and brightest, heard the more than a dozen reasons for implementing the policy of regime change in Iraq, supported in words by the Clinton administration, performed in deeds by Bush.
Nobody knows exactly what the future of Iraq will look like, they are breaking new ground, accomplishing things no man has had the courage to even attempt before. But there can be no mistaking the message sent by the more than 72% who turned up at the polls today against the advice of terrorists and cowards around the globe; they intend to be free…
No matter how difficult the struggle for freedom from here, there can be no mistaking the message that not a single coalition soldier died in vein in Iraq, their sacrifice vindicated, their brave deeds honored as the Iraqi people marched to the polls at great risk of peril.
The cowards will focus there attention on the minority in Iraq who didn’t vote, as if the vast majority that did doesn’t matter. They will find ways to discredit the courage of the Iraqi citizens who braved the deadly streets to secure their own future and they will continue to call for America to leave these people to their own devices because for them, freedom of the Iraqi people is not worth the cost.
They may never understand that securing freedom for others around the world is right, or that it is the best way to protect our own freedoms at home.
But thank God we still have men and women who do understand, who remain willing to sacrifice for their country and
the freedom and liberty of others. Without these brave people, members of the greatest military on earth, and leaders
willing to risk their own political future to do the right thing, freedom and liberty would not exist anywhere.