"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

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Stages to Freedom: 1-Democracy 2-Self-Government 3-Stability

Iraq's Election, And What Comes Next
Clive Crook/National Journal Original Article

Interviewed on Meet the Press last weekend, John Kerry never wavered: Invited to say he was impressed by the turnout in Iraq's election, he declined, saying that it had been merely "as expected." By whom? Was anybody else as optimistic last week as Kerry says he was? Most people had been dreading -- or, depending on where they stood, contentedly expecting -- an election where nobody showed up. Unlike the junior senator from Massachusetts, most of the world was surprised that so many Iraqis defied the country's murderous insurgents and stood proudly in line to cast their votes.


Blogger Lieutenant Colonel Caveman said...

While not a historian, it is my sincere belief (backed by historical accounts) that there exists a general misunderstanding of how freedom is obtained in a society.

Many people wrongly infer that stability is needed first for the democratic process to move forward and self-government is the end product of a democracy.

Freedom is something that develops once all three of the above conditions exist. While it is true that freedom spans once all conditions are first met, the order of establishing the first three conditions seems to be misunderstood.

Democratic voting, however limited, is the first condition that is typically established. This was true during the American Revolution as it is true now. The Articles of Confederation were not voted upon by the multitude, but instead framed by just a few visionaries.

After democratic voting, self-government begins to take place. If not derailed by the new government itself or some external force, democracy is strengthened as it grows and is ingrained in a culture. Again, analogous to the American Revolution and its young democracy, George Washington while clearly re-electable, specifically did not seek re-election to ensure internal tyrany would not become the norm in the young United States. Prior to his presidency, he also fought against external threats to the new democracy. Self-governing continued to grow in the young United States. Many external governments attempted early on to derail this new democracy, not to mention internal forces that led to the Civil War.

Finally, stability comes to pass as the young government takes charge of its destiny and begins to develop a strong military and impose civil order and civil programs. These programs, in a democracy, are always a result of compromise between two or more parties wanting to guide the country forward in a particular direction

A strong military limits and subdues external threats; thereby enhancing stability. Civil order and programs bring freedom to the people of the democracy. African-Americans while emancipated during the Civil War, did not gain freedom for approximately 100 years after this bloody event.

Freedom for all is still being sought in the United States after over 200 years. While definitely the world leader in freedom, we still have room to grow towards the ultimate goal of freedom for all.

In Iraq, people are surprised that Iraqis braved death given the "instability" of the country. Certain political groups are questioning the legitimacy of the election without understanding the path towards freedom.

Stability is not a necessary condition for democracy which leads to self-government and finally freedom.

Instead, democracy brings self-government, self-government brings stability. All three of these conditions lead to freedom.

Iraqi's overwhelming voted for freedom. While the first democratic election is not to the standard of an American election today, nor was the adoption of the Articles of Confederation to the standard of an American election today.

Iraqis next need to work on self-government. Writing a new constitution (as Americans did over 200 years ago) is the next fundamental step. Another aspect of self-government is for the new government to defend itself against internal and external threats.

Once able to defend itself, stability will come to pass. The young United States survived a civil war and dozens other internal and external threats leading up to this devastating war. Iraqis and the young Iraq government will be able to survive these threats too, especially with the help of United States troops helping to train them and limit external and internal threats.

Someday Iraqis, like Americans today, will finally have freedom that will be the envy of many other Middle East countries. It may take two years or 200 years. Either way, it will become the envy of its neighbors. It will be the shining light for others to strive for. It will be free.

Sunday, 06 February, 2005  

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