The birth of freedom
I make it a point not to read Andrew Sullivan anymore, but he was quoted in this post and to my unwitting chagrin, I read. Here's Sullivan:
How do we tell if the Iraqi elections are a success? That they happen at all? Surely we should have a higher standard than that. Here are my criteria: over 50 percent turnout among the Shia and Kurds, and over 30 percent turnout for the Sunnis. No massive disruption of voting places; no theft of ballots. Fewer than 500 murdered. Any other suggestions for relevant criteria? Am I asking too much? I'm just thinking out loud. But it makes sense to have some guidelines before Sunday so we don't just fit what happens to our pre-existing hopes or rationalizations.
Freedom is not measured in percentages of dead, nor in quantity of suffrage, Andrew. How would the success of American freedom stand up to such objective criteria? How many thousands or millions have died in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican/ American War, Civil War, Spanish/American, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq? How many millions of women and blacks were denied the right to vote throughout our history? How many blacks tortured or killed during the horrors of slavery?
The success or failure of freedom can't be quantified like an accountant's balance sheet.
What you fail to see, Andrew, is that freedom is never won. It simply endures throughout the struggle to preserve it. Our freedom has endured throughout all of our monumental struggles as a nation. God willing it will continue to endure.
Basing the success of the Iraqi elections on an objective number of voters or deaths is naivete to the extreme and lacking in any mature perceptiveness. Would you dismiss the value of a child's life simply because he or she was born with a deformity or mental defect, Andrew? Perhaps you would. Would you have dismissed the success of the American Revolution based on Shay's Rebellion? Perhaps you would have.
That child born without arms will one day look to the sublimity of a sunrise or hear the gushing surge of a Beethoven symphony, or know the loving touch of his mother's caress. The Iraqi people, despite their present struggles, will one day know the contentment found in the pursuit of their own happiness. And they will also know the horror of trying to defend it.
Freedom is born and it's a struggle to preserve it. Tomorrow, Freedom will be born for the Iraqis and then the real fight begins.
Stop the silliness, Andrew.