Skeptics of President Bush’s attempt to bring democracy to Iraq have been largely silent since Iraqis enthusiastically turned out for Sunday’s elections.
Billionaire Bush-basher George Soros and left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore were among critics of the administration’s Iraq policy who had no comment after millions of Iraqis went to the polls in their nation’s first free elections in decades.
The Carter Center determined that the security situation in Iraq was going to be too dangerous to send election monitors, so the Atlanta-based human rights organization founded by former President Jimmy Carter posted its personnel in neighboring Jordan.
Of course. Whenever I want to get the pulse of Election Tuesday in the States, I visit Canada or Mexico myself.
Or preferably the Bahamas.
Moorewatch.com, a site dedicated to countering the filmmaker’s political statements, knocked Mr. Moore for “failing to acknowledge [the Iraqi people’s] achievement.”
“I find it telling that the man who has lamented such great concern for the kite-flying, tea-sipping Iraqi people featured in ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ can’t be bothered to string together a few words of admiration for those same people who braved the threat of death to cast their votes this past weekend,” the anti-Moore Web site said. “It seems Moore only admires the Iraqi people when they validate his agenda of hating George Bush.”
Some administration critics, however, saw the Iraqi elections as reason to revise their opinion of Mr. Bush.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown, who has consistently opposed Mr. Bush and the war in Iraq, wrote for yesterday’s edition that “it’s hard to swallow,” but “what if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?”
The Chicago columnist wrote that he was struck by “television coverage from Iraq that showed long lines of people risking their lives by turning out to vote, honest looks of joy on so many of their faces.”
“If it turns out Bush was right all along, this is going to require some serious penance,” Mr. Brown wrote.
For an example of a nayser who wasn’t silent, Thomas Sowell writes about Massachusetts’ Junior Senator:
Senator John Kerry loudly proclaimed on “Meet the Press” that the Iraqi election represented President Bush’s “last chance” to “get it right.” Nothing is easier than to demand more from somebody else — even when you yourself have been an obstacle to achieving what has already been achieved.
Senator Kerry has a long record as a defeatist and obstructionist. Back in 1971, he said, “we cannot fight communism all over the world” — adding in the same arrogant tone he uses today, “I think we should have learned that lesson by now.”
Ronald Reagan never learned that lesson — and hundreds of millions of human beings are free of communist tyranny today as a result. But during all the years when President Reagan was building up our military forces and our intelligence agencies, Senator Kerry was consistently voting against the appropriations required to do so.
What both men were doing was consistent with their respective assumptions and goals. Senator Kerry was just one of the defeatist elitists who regarded the communist bloc as a “fact of life” which we could only accept and which it was futile to waste resources opposing.
They imagined themselves to be so much wiser than other people that condescension was only natural, as they brushed aside any other viewpoint with such dismissive words as “cowboy” or even “stupid.” The fact that events proved the defeatist elitists dead wrong in the Cold War — and now again in the Iraqi elections — has not yet broken through their smugness.
Probably nothing ever will. But that does not mean that the rest of us need to keep taking their high opinion of themselves seriously.
Senator Kerry has been a defeatist in another way. He has been quick to throw to the wolves foreign allies who have been depicted as mere accomplices in America’s futile efforts. People like Senator Kerry not only pushed for our withdrawal from Vietnam but for our cutting off all aid to the South Vietnamese government that was resisting the North Vietnamese Communists — who were backed by aid from the Communist bloc.
During the current struggle for Iraq, Senator Kerry has called Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi a “puppet” — once more giving aid and comfort to the enemy by undermining an ally, in this case a man who is putting his life on the line in a country where terrorist assassinations have become a way of life.
I was going to type that “If it turns out Bush was right all along, will Senator Kerry undergo ‘some serious penance’?”, but then I realized that since the day after November 2nd, he has.