Originally uploaded by David B..
The Iraqi elections turned out to be a spectacular success. Under difficult circumstances 60 % of the eligible Iraqi voters participated in the elections. There was great opposition to the elections from the terrorist insurgents. They threatened beheading to any Iraqi who chose to vote.
Did the threats keep the people away? No! Many walked great distances, carrying the elderly upon their backs, and waited in long lines, all the while being exposed to terroristic dangers, to exercise their franchise to vote. For most Iraqi's this was the first free election in which they had ever particpated (The last time such elections were held in Iraq was some 50 years ago.)
Hats off to these brave people, with the spirit of freedom and liberty burning in their breasts. The proudly dipped their fingers in the purple ink, and wore their badge of courage proudly.
Hats off, also to the brave men and women of our armed forces, who made it possible. To see freedom and democracy taking root, in a place where many said it was hopeless, is a vindication of the many sacrifices which have been made.
Thanks also, to President Bush. The man who does what he believes to be right, in the face of all the frothing opposition. He bravely stood his ground, through the bitter election campaign. We heard all the kooks and nay-sayers. All those who impugned the President's honor and integrity. Those who figuratively spit in is face, and trampled him under their feet (and there are many who would have done it physically as well, if they had the chance.) The president stood his ground. He knew in his heart what was right, and stayed the course. He put his whole presidency at risk by doing so. He could have waffled. He cound have gone soft to stay the criticism, and to save his political hide. But he remained firm and true to what he knew was right. He would rather have given up the presidency, that abondon his principles.
Thank God, for President Bush. Thanks for a president who can distiguish right from wrong. Thanks for a president who is a man of faith, and who seeks the counsel of the Lord, and tries to do right, regardless of the consequences.
And in return, I'm sure that the Iraqis are thankful too. In fact, the new mayor of Baghdad wants to erect a statue in honor of George W. Bush. That thanks was manifest at the President's State of the Union Speech. When an Iraqi woman (whose father was killed by Saddam Hussein) - spontaneously gave a hug the the mother of a fallen Marine, who had given his life for the freedom of Iraq, and the safety of the United States. During this moment, now known as "The Hug", the President's eyes welled up with tears, as did many who witnessed that poignant moment. For in that insant -- for all to see -- was Courage, Faith, Commitment, and the Gratitutde of two nations all on display at a single moment, which will go on to live in history.