Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Iraq: Minds They Are A Changin?

I'm not a huge reader of the Chicago Sun-Times, but Limbaugh was talking about Mark Brown's column today, so I thought I should check it out. It is quite interesting, perhaps more so than Mr. Brown intends, as it indicates the profound impact the Sunday elections have had on people in the U.S., and exposes the underlying theme of elitism that so many American liberals display towards people of color.

I've been quite curious as to why so many otherwise good people seem to have aligned themselves against a chance for freedom for the Iraqi people. While I disagreed with their resistance to the war, these anti-freedom liberals (oxymoron anyone?) went from disagreeing with policy to aligning with the forces against freedom once the war was over. As with the French and the Germans, it appears now that these Americans will increasingly be fighting the tide of history if they continue to deny, and yes, resist helping in Iraq.

Brown's column provides the first hint that perhaps this is dawning on some folks. It also includes some lines that indicate to me at least, that maybe they're resistance goes beyond standard Bush hatred to a little cultural elitism.

Catch these quotes, which I've selectively taken from the article, you should read the whole thing yourself:

"You didn't change your mind when our troops swept quickly into Baghdad or when you saw the rabble that celebrated the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue, figuring that little had been accomplished and that the tough job still lay ahead."

Rabble? These people live under the boot of Saddam for twenty years, endure executions, rape rooms and torture, and are nothing more than rabble on the day of their liberation? Next time, we must remember to drop leaflet and inform the populace that their expected to dress for the occasion!

"But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?"

Why is it that after the last twenty years, when we saw the fall of the wall in Berlin, the execution Romania's dictator at the hands of a newly freed people, the revolution in Russia, the students willing to die in Tiananmen Square, that it continues to be a shock to liberals that freedom is something worth dying for. Aren't liberals supposed to be society's main proponents for freedom, and if so, how have they so routinely ended up on the wrong side of history?

"For those who've been in the same boat with me, we don't need to concede the point just yet. There's a long way to go. But I think we have to face the possibility."

After all he has seen in the past week, the clear desire for freedom, the courage to display their purple fingers, Mr. Brown continues to cling to the thought (hope?) that maybe these people really don't want the chance that we've given them. Indeed, later in the article he claims we've forced a brave new world on them.

"On the other side of that barrier is a concept some of us have had a hard time swallowing: Maybe the United States really can establish a peaceable democratic government in Iraq, and if so, that would be worth something."

In the name of all that is good, why in the world is this so hard to swallow? Have we not spent the last two decades witnessing the march of freedom? That last part is particularly astounding - it would really be worth something? Uh, ya I think it might be worth a whole lot, but you know, maybe Mr. Brown will need a few more decades to work that out. This freedom stuff is messy business after all

"Instead of making the elections a further expression of "Yankee Go Home," their participation gave us hope that all those soldiers haven't died in vain."

In fact, they demonstrated that our soldiers fought and died for a very brave people who are slowly shaking off the effects of decades of fear and torture. In fact, many said that while they want us to leave, they need us to stay until security is fully established.

There is more, so much more and as I said you should read it all. While Mr. Brown seems to finally be "getting it", it is hard to see what is more stunning; his initial lack of faith in the "rabble" or his unwarranted cynicism of the President's foreign policy.

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