Monday, January 31, 2005

Iraqi Joy

My fellow blogger, AJM, wrote this morning:

This is why Iraq's fledging democracy will succeed:

"Baghdad's mayor was overcome with emotion by the turnout of voters at City Hall, where he said thousands were celebrating. 'I cannot describe what I am seeing. It is incredible. This is a vote for the future, for the children, for the rule of law, for humanity, for love,' Alaa al-Tamimi told Reuters."

I agree, with the following caveat.

Democracy in Iraq will work, as long as the following occur:

1) The elected rulers follow the rule of law; and

2) The rule of law that the elected rulers follow is the product of democratic processes rather than authoritarian whim.

We must remember that democracy in Iraq will not necessarily look or sound like Western democracy. If these two principles are followed, however, the justice, equality, and elevation of the individual that are integral to this noble system will thrive.

I, as all who love freedom should, heartily cheer the apparent success of the Iraqi elections. More importantly, I hope the Iraqis have elected the right people. In this troubled country and troubled region, time will tell.

There is reason for optimism, though. The Iraqi people finally had a chance to ask for what they want rather than hide their desires for fear of state retribution. It took courage to vote, especially in parts of the country in which insurgents and terrorists are at large and have threatened those who would cast their ballots.

But thousands upon thousands risked their lives to do it. This should be a stark lesson for those in America who choose to sit aside when their opportunity to vote arises.