I state without qualification that freedom is, in fact, the natural condition of man and woman, and that given a taste of it and an understanding of how precious it is, these will die for it as we are willing to die for in on others' behalf. I shall go further and suggest that anyone who cannot appreciate this is less than alive.
Very well spoken. However I believe that there are two natural desires of the common man: to be free and to be secure. A merchant in Bagdad is probably willing to give up some of his freedom for security and as long as its the other guy who gets put into the gulag. A thriving democracy requires not just people are willing to fight for their own freedom but also to fight for those who are unwilling to fight at all. Those people are exceptional and are the greatest among us.
So the key question is whether Iraq has enough of those people to create a democracy.
posted on 05/25/2004 7:03:45 PM PDT
And a good question it is, given the fact that anyone with a shred of a suspicion of becoming a Washington, Adams, or Jefferson in Iraq was systematically kidnapped and murdered over a period of a hellish three decades. But it isn't the great ones the tyrants have to watch out for. It's the little guys who just sort of happen on the idea that maybe the tough guys aren't so tough after all, and inside there's this tiny flame that burns white-hot at the notion that a life sacrificed for freedom will make a better one for the wife and kids, and that such a life is not wasted where a life cowering is. That idea isn't at all uniquely American, and it is pessimism of the first order to pretend that the Iraqis are incapable of making a go of this thing.
I'm not alone in the belief - it absolutely terrifies the ruling elite all across the Middle East, and rightfully so, and that is why so much money and effort is going into trying to stop it in Iraq. That effort will fail if we do not.
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