Thursday, February 03, 2005

Democracy: Fun for the Whole Family!

Thomas Friedman on the Iraqi Elections:

"....this election has made it crystal clear that the Iraq war is not between fascist insurgents and America, but between the fascist insurgents and the Iraqi people. One hopes the French and Germans, whose newspapers often sound more like Al Jazeera than Al Jazeera, will wake up to this fact and throw their weight onto the right side of history.

It's about time, because whatever you thought about this war, it's not about Mr. Bush any more. It's about the aspirations of the Iraqi majority to build an alternative to Saddamism. By voting the way they did, in the face of real danger, Iraqis have earned the right to ask everyone now to put aside their squabbles and focus on what is no longer just a pipe dream but a real opportunity to implant decent, consensual government in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world. "

They have also earned the right to ask those who suggest that people in the Middle East don't really want democracy and that it is somehow against their 'culture' to shut the hell up. To suggest that any group of people don't want to make decisions about their own lives and how their society is run is ridiculous and, frankly, smacks of racism.

Al Zarqawi does not speak for the people of Iraq and never did. Which, given that he is Jordanian, makes sense. Far too many people who would never tolerate the idea that Americans should speak for Canadians or the Germans for the French will tolerate the notion that a Jordanian terrorist somehow represents Iraqis because they are all Arabs. The majority of Iraqis have now made it clear that they do not want Islamofascists speaking for them. They have a voice of their own and it has now been heard for the first time. All democratic nations everywhere must now support the Iraqi people in their transition. For they are one of us now.

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