by John Hawkins | April 21, 2004 11:59 pm
Before the war in Iraq, anti-war activists poo-poo’d the idea that George Bush was serious about Democracy in Iraq. All we heard was,
“Bush is just going to Iraq for (cheap oil / to make money for Haliburton / to get revenge for Saddam’s attempt to kill his daddy / insert other dunderheaded theories here). We’re the ones who want to help the Iraqi people and that’s why we want to leave Saddam in power…ehr, maybe I should have phrased that better, but you get the general idea.”
Yet, we’re more than a year out from the end of the war and Bush is just as committed to Democracy in Iraq as he was before we went in despite the costs, the insurgency, and the endless complaints of the Democrats. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for Bush to install some strongman with promises of freedom at some undetermined point down the road and honestly, it probably would have benefitted him politically to do so. But to W’s credit, he has been a rock when it comes to Iraqi freedom.
On the other hand, those who are watching John Kerry closely may have noticed that he’s already laying the groundwork to abandon the Iraqis to a dictator. The first clue is his insistence on letting the UN run things on the ground, which is a recipe for failure if I’ve seen one. The UN is up to their eyeballs in the oil for food scandal, loaded with countries that didn’t support the invasion in Iraq and would like to see Democracy fail there, and most importantly, the UN ran from Iraq with their tails between their legs after they were bombed back in 2003. The UN just doesn’t have the credibility to play a central role in Iraq.
Moreover, this quote from Kerry has not gotten the attention it deserves,
“With respect to getting our troops out, the measure is the stability of Iraq. [Democracy] shouldn’t be the measure of when you leave. I have always said from day one that the goal here . . . is a stable Iraq, not whether or not that’s a full democracy.”
Even the lefties at the Washington Post can see where this is going,
“Where once he named democracy as a task to be completed, and the alternative to “cutting and running” or a “false success,” Mr. Kerry now says democracy is optional. Where once he warned against setting the conditions for an early but irresponsible withdrawal of U.S. forces, now he does so himself by defining the exit standard as “stability,” a term that could describe Saudi Arabia or Iran — or the Iraq of Saddam Hussein.”
In the end, the Iraqi people, not America will be the deciding factor in whether Iraqi becomes free. But unless the US sticks it out and helps them move forward, the way we did in Japan, Germany, and South Korea, the Iraqis have no chance.
George Bush has made it clear, he’s going the distance in Iraq while it’s becoming increasingly clear that John Kerry has made no such commitment. So I think it’s fair to say that the election in November will not only decide who the next POTUS will be, it’ll likely decide whether the Iraqi people will continue live as free men or will once again be slaves.
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