My friend Steve wanted to know why there was nothing on my blog about the hugely sucessful elections in Iraq yesterday. Why was I so silent?
John Podhoretz says, "Wow, suddenly it's so quiet in here you can hear crickets chirping" in his Vindicated column in the NY Post.
Jeff Jarvis calls the liberals who questioned the war in Iraq eeyeores and its no wonder that those who argued the wisdom of the war in Iraq have gone under cover from the squeals of glee from the right.
I emailed Steve my thoughts and he had the predictable response - incredulance followed by an attempt to convert me to the correct view.
When I saw the pictures of Iraqis voting on the front of the NY Times today along with the news that over 60% turned out to vote, I smiled. I did not think it was actually bad news. People rising up and taking their country's future into their own hands is never bad news. I thought about taking our kids to vote last fall and I told my them that this was an incredible moment for Iraq and the future of democracy.
It wasn't until later when I started to read the taunting of Michael Moore, John Kerry, and the rest of the liberals, that my good feelings turned bad.
This election is the first time that the Iraqi people have shown the rest of the world that they actually do want democracy and freedom. I wonder what took them so long. I wonder why they have sat back and watched the insurgency take its toll on their country.
I wonder if freedom for the Iraqis is worth 1400 lives, countless limbs, billions of our tax dollars, and a shattered reputation throughout the world.
I said all of this to Steve, who replied that, "it was specious to speculate what one life, 100 lives, or 1400 lives was worth", and that "The attempt to create an alternative to radical Islam - even at the expense of significant blood and treasure - is not only worth it, but is necessary and unavoidable." He went on to say that "it's either thousands of lives now or hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of our kids lives later".
Clearly that is the view of the Bush administration and many of the people in this country, probably the majority given the election results last fall. I respect that and my respect for that is the main cause of my silence until prodded by Steve, Podhoretz, and Jeff.
But it isn't my view. And one of the reasons I love blogging is that we can all share our views and debate them out in the open.
My view is that we have bigger battles to fight than the one in Iraq.
My view is Iraq's next door neighbor Iran, the country that was strengthened by the Shiite win in the Iraqi election, is more likely to build something that could do the damage that Steve fears than the Iraqis.
My view is the North Koreans are more dangerous than both.
And yet we haven't gone in to free either of those countries.
Does our "success" in Iraq mean we must now go do the same in those countries?
Where does this policy of pre-emption stop?
If that makes me an eeyore, so be it. I am thrilled for the Iraqis. I hope they thank the men and women who lost their lives so they could vote.
And I hope we stop the pre-emptive experiment where it started in Iraq and wait to see how it turns out over the long haul before deciding to try it elsewhere.