Like life itself, nothing good, real and true is born easily. And the birth of the democracy of Iraq was especially difficult and complicated. One closely followed the whole painful process, pacing outside, aware of the dangers, the carcinogenic forces of evil and destruction sapping the strength of a people who had made its choice and was making that infinite sacrifice that life demands of us, when life itself is the creation.
For if life is freedom, then so must also be democracy.
The first election should have been proof enough, but there was scarcely an international nod of approval. Certainly not a European one, with the exception of the courageous few who have always understood that freedom is not necessarily 'made in America'.
As truth is revealed, hypocrisy often accompanies it. When the former Secretary General of the United Nations suggested that Iraq was better off under the Saddam Hussein regime, it was an incredibly thoughtless and revealing declaration for one who is supposed to represent freedom and international law.
Today one still hears the 'concocted for the occasion', contrite, purse-lipped phrase from those who pretend to have so much experience in the matter- that "one cannot export democracy".
As if an entire population is so mentally retarded as to take the trouble to lay the foundation stones of its new democracy just to please the Occident! Surely this enormous engagement entailing so much sacrifice merits a bit more respect and consideration.
One wonders how much courage those who wave away a new democracy with such pompous disdain would have in comparison with the elected representatives of the first newly formed Iraqi government who risked their lives every day for the very sake of their new democracy?
If the first election did not merit the applause of Europeans perhaps spoilt by too many years of freedom, this second one didn't do much better to raise their approval either. Yet it is even more significant. Monitored by almost 300,000 local and international observers it confirms the freedom of Iraq. It confirms the end of the American occupational of security forces, for also on the strength of the results, the state of law has won in all nine southern Shia provinces, thus introducing new power and greater control. Barack Obama should, in principle, be now more able to accelerate the withdrawal of American troops. No one expected such an achievement, especially in Basra, Nassiriya, Kut and Samawa.
In his words of praise, also to Nouri al-Maliki, Barack Obama alluded to it as "a victory for all the Iraqis".
They have every right to be proud of their achievement. And when such a birth is so painfully demanding, in blood, tears and so much sacrifice, then the new born child of freedom can only be all the more cherished, fiercely defended and protected. For whatever the opinions of those who do not wish to see, it represents the realisation of the Iraqi dream.
Text © Mirino (PW) February, 2009
(With grateful thanks to the AP for the use of the image)