Sunday, January 30, 2005

The People Have Spoken

Isaiah 58:6-7 (King James Version)

“6Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”

The people of Iraq have spoken! From the oil fields of Kirkuk in the north to the salt marshes in the south, from Baghdad to Basrah, from Al Hillah to Karbala, from Nasiriyah to Baqubah, millions of Iraqis spoke through the ballot box today and told the world community that freedom and democracy are Iraq’s future.

The message could not be clearer. The evil practitioners of fear, repression, intimidation, and terror will not prevail. It will take time, but the foundation of democracy has today been laid in Iraq. This historic election, purchased in blood by Americans, Poles, Ukrainians, Italians, Britons, Danes, Dutch, Estonians, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Kazakhs, Salvadorans, Slovaks, Latvians, Spaniards, and Thais, has now been sealed by the blood of the brave men and women of Iraq.

I watched this morning and shed a tear as I saw old men, their faces weathered and worn by the years of oppression under Saddam Hussein proudly cast their ballots. I shed a tear as old women who had lost sons and daughters and grandchildren to terror cast their ballots, saying, in essence, “No more, no more! Our children and grandchildren will have a future with hope.” I sat transfixed as I watched young men dance for joy and young women’s faces light up as they waited patiently in line to vote. I felt a deep sense of vindication as I watched those who had voted proclaim their collective victory over terror, with purple thumbs and fingers raised. Perhaps history will record their gestures as the first great symbol of the new millennium.

Democracy and freedom dealt a heavy, heavy blow to terror today. While there are still battles to come, the people of Iraq have won. Victory is just as certain now for these brave people as it was for the world when free men stormed the Normandy beaches three generations ago.

President Bush’s congratulatory statement, I believe, spoke for all Americans, regardless of political ideology:

“In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists. They have refused to be intimidated by thugs and assassins. And they have demonstrated the kind of courage that is always the foundation of self-government.”

It seems that even the “mainstream media” have seen what so many of us witnessed today.
In a report titled “Iraqi Voters Defy Insurgents” CBS News put it this way:

“The voting appears to be the best moment for America’s mission in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad and the subsequent capture of Saddam Hussein, reports CBS News Anchor Dan Rather.”

Among other things, Fox News had this to report on the Iraqi elections:

"Am I scared? Of course I'm not (my emphasis added) scared. This is my country," said 50-year-old Fathiya Mohammed, wearing a head-to-toe abaya."

"At one polling place in Baghdad, soldiers and voters joined hands in a dance, and in Baqouba, voters jumped and clapped to celebrate the historic day. At another, an Iraqi policeman in a black ski mask tucked his assault rifle under one arm and took the hand of an elderly blind woman, guiding her to the polls."

The introduction to MSNBC’s report spoke volumes:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Some came on crutches, others walked for miles then struggled to read the ballot, but across most of Iraq millions turned out to vote on Sunday, defying insurgent threats of a bloodbath.”

And there was this from ABC News:

“Women in black abayas whispered prayers at the sound of a nearby explosion as they waited to vote at one Baghdad polling station. But the mood for many was upbeat: Civilians and policemen danced with joy at one of the five polling stations where photographers were allowed, and some streets were packed with voters walking shoulder-to-shoulder to vote. The elderly made their way, hobbling on canes or riding wheelchairs; one elderly woman was pushed along on a wooden cart, another man carried a disabled 80-year-old on his back."

"This is democracy," said Karfia Abbasi, holding up a thumb stained with purple ink to prove she had voted.”

Yes, the people of Iraq have spoken. I salute them for their courage. I pray that God will bless them richly as they move onward in the journey to fulfilled hope and freedom.

I salute the members of the coalition and their families who have given so much to make this day a reality. The seeds of democracy that you have sown and plowed in blood and hope will one day spring up and flourish, one day becoming a treasured member in the family of nations.

And, most of all, I salute the God of Heaven and earth, for making this day possible.


Anonymous said...

Editorial Page Editor
Santa Maria Times
January 30, 2005

Today, Sunday, January 30 2005, marks a new beginning
in the long history of the Iraqi people. Their human nature
identity and endowments have been hidden from them by
a history of oppressors. Their individual vote and the elective
process may reopen the eyes of their understanding to the
natural gifts of individual Liberty and the opportunities of a
society of Freedom to fulfill the wonders of their human potential.
The following message was forwarded this day to a number
of personal Iraqi contacts:

"IRAQ: Welcome Generation-Choicemaker

Human defined is Earth's Choicemaker. He is by nature
and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of Criteria.
His unique and definitive characteristic is, and of Right
ought to be, the natural foundation of his environments,
institutions, and respectful relations to his fellow-man.
Thus, he is oriented to a Freedom whose roots are in
the natural Order of the universe.

Most Americans consider you worthy of our sacrifice. You are validating our painful investment. JFB

an American Choicemaker"

(Jim Baxter)
(Sgt USMC WWII & Korean War)
(Santa Maria, California)

Michael Gallaugher said...

Leviticus 25:10