Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A New Symbol of Freedom 

An Iraqi man showing his ink-stained finger after voting in a polling station near Baghdad (AP Photo/John Moore)Posted by Hello

I was amazed and thrilled watching the news reports from the Iraqi election this past Sunday. It seems crass to say this after there were at least 44 deaths on the day of the election, but I was speechless by how quiet the Iraqi election was. It was an ordinary election, which actually made it extraordinary since it was war-torn Iraq.

If it were up to me, I would keep the tradition of the ink-dipped finger, even after technology improvements make it unnecessary. It certainly carriers more emotional impact than those "I Voted" stickers I get when I leave my place of voting. I was surprised that Bush didn't come out with an ink-stained finger for his State of the Union address.

It took big-time courage to vote, and get that ink mark. Sunday's events made me think about what I would stand up for, and who I am standing with. I had a post half-written in my head (honest!) about how I felt about the outrageous comments from many of "antiwar" left. I guess I'm not the only one. Jeff Simmermon interviewed Iraqi-Americans who voted at one of the US polling stations, and summed up a lot of what I needed to vent quiet nicely:

...I’ve had a guilty taste in my mouth since the inaugural protest’s cocktail of adrenaline and pepper gas wore off. I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that while the right is wrong, the left might not be right either...

I'm a registered Democrat, but I'm still very tempted to say to hell with it and register as an independent. I mean, seriously, when Osama bin Laden appears to quote Fahrenheit 9/11, a movie embraced by many mainstream Democrats, something is wrong. Here is a wonderful quote from Judith in the comments section of Jeff's post:

...Now that Bush is re-elected I intend to defend those social issues, but it would be a lot easier if the scruffy protestors with "Bush=Hitler" signs were not the public face of environmental protection, civil liberties, and abortion rights. You folks have set us back considerably, especially the hypocrisy of Western feminists who refuse to be enthusiastic about their Arab sisters' progress when a Republican makes it possible. Feminism should be bi-partisan.

If a lot more leftists were like you, then we could all have thoughtful dialogue about how to proceed. But the antiwar left is so snotty and sneering and narcissistic and hypocritical, and so WRONG about everything, that the right just dismisses you guys and all your concerns, which means some of my concerns get dismissed too...

Amen, sister. In addition to feminism, I would add environmentalism to issues I think should be bi-partisan. Unlike Judith, I didn't vote for Bush, and I still wouldn't even with the smashing success of the Iraqi election. While the war may very well be justified, I feel that the prewar diplomacy and postwar planning was bungled enough for me to withhold my vote from him. But after his doom and gloom comments on the Iraqi election he made last Sunday, John Kerry sure wouldn't get my vote again.

I'll finish with another quote from Jeff's comments section, from MisterPundit, that sums up my feelings on the Iraq war:

Perhaps we should look at it this way. On the WMD issue the left scores 1 point. On the democracy issue the right scores 1 point. Now we're even, so let's call it quits. Pro-war or anti-war, the best way to honour those who have died in this war is to make sure that Iraq becomes prosperous and that it's fledgeling democracy flourishes.

Who knew there would actually be any reasonable opinions after all the red state-blue state BS? Thank God.

(Hat tip and a Wayne & Garth "We're not worthy." to Caltechgirl.

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