The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
A Burden Too Heavy to Put Down
Well said, by David Brooks:
Um Haydar was a 25-year-old Iraqi woman whose husband displeased Saddam Hussein's government. After he fled the country in 2000, some members of the Fedayeen Saddam grabbed her from her home and brought her out on the street. There, in front of her children and mother-in-law, two men grabbed her arms while another pulled her head back and beheaded her. Baath Party officials watched the murder, put her head in a plastic bag and took away her children.
Try to put yourself in the mind of the killer, or of the guy with the plastic bag. You are part of Saddam's vast apparatus of rape squads, torture teams and mass-grave fillers. Every time you walk down the street, people tremble in fear. Everything else in society is arbitrary, but you are absolute. When you kill, your craving for power and significance is sated. You are infused with the joy of domination.
These are the people we are still fighting in Iraq. These are the people who blow up Red Cross headquarters and U.N. buildings and fight against democracy and freedom. They are the scum of the earth. And they are being joined in their lairs by the flotsam and jetsam of the terrorist world.
What will happen when the Iraqi people begin voting for their government sometime next year?
People like Um Haydar are going to turn it into a bloodbath. Be prepared.
Haydar doesn't want to speak with a ballot, and he certainly won't let others do so. The only thing he understands is force, which for him means using his power to keep others down.
The election is going to be a security nightmare. Polling stations will be bombed, and people will be killed for voting.
Democrats will say - in much gentler words - that the stupid Iraqis weren't ready for democracy (and btw, the war was a mistake...).
Will it work? Will thugs keep the Iraqi people down?
If history is any guide, it will not. People have an inherent desire to choose their own destiny, and to oppose thugs like Haydar. They will not let him win. They don't want another Saddam.
And when this election - this blood spattered, rambling wreck of an election - takes place, the Democrats will be complaining about people being disenfranchised by the violence, and they will complain that the Iraqi people aren't as liberal as we had hoped. They will be right on both counts: many people will be scared away from the polls, and the Iraqis are likely to elect quite a few stone age leaders.
But the Democrats will have missed the point: Iraq's mistakes will be Iraq's to make, and the rest of the Arab world is going to be asking why they are denied a similar opportunity to choose their own destiny.
The terrorists will be on the side of the decaying, embattled dictatorships (where they belong).
The terrorists thrive becuase they believe that they represent the voice of the people. Iraq, with luck, will expose for what they are: larval tyrants.
Power to the People! The Iraqi people! (You see? I really am a liberal at heart! Most Democrats no longer are.)