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A light at the end of the Iraqi tunnel?

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted February 7, 2005

After an obligatory but brief holiday from doom-and-gloom prophesizing on the matter of Iraq, liberals will presently rejoin their efforts in the War on Bush. This boggy quagmire -- having been woefully escalated by the Red Army of Jesus-land -- is fast becoming the Vietnam-generation's Vietnam, except that 'peace with honor' is not in their vocabulary.

The recent display of joy and pride known as self-governance which swept Iraq over the past weekend is just the latest in a long line of liberal defeats at the hands of the Midnight Cowboy and friends. And as in that late, Southeast Asian conflict, the usual alliances prevail. Consider the latest remark from erstwhile Soviet and leftist superstar Mikhail Gorbachev:

"What we were observing in Iraq on Sunday, as well as preparations preceding the elections, is very far from what true elections are. And even though I am a supporter of elections and of the transfer of power to the people of Iraq, these elections were fake. I don't think these elections will be of any use. They may even have a negative impact on the country. Democracy cannot be imposed or strengthened with guns and tanks."

Though an expert on what can and cannot be imposed with guns and especially tanks, Mr. Gorbachev would be hard pressed to explain post-WWII Japan and Germany for starters. As a further history lesson, the man who claimed at Ronald Reagan's funeral that, "we all lost the Cold War," might also want to study the founding of the country that bested him in that conflict.

And Gorby's admirers in the fifth column of the fourth estate likewise have some learning to do. Mewling like a bunch of frightened kittens while brave Iraqi citizens stood on the broad shoulders of the U.S. military and other Coalition and Iraqi security forces, the media expressed 'surprise' that the elections were a resounding success. This illustration of what President Bush calls "the soft bigotry of low expectations" demonstrates the ivory-tower elitism many have come to disdain and ignore.

Strangely silent on the subject are most Congressional Democrats save for some unremitting demands for an exit strategy. Their behavior recalls the movie, "The Agony and the Ecstasy," in which Pope Julius II, patron of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, constantly harangues Michelangelo; "When will you make an end to it?" To which the fresco-master replies, "When it is finished."

It took nearly four years to complete that masterwork, but don't be surprised if the bulk of our troops' tour de force is finished a bit more quickly. Iraq has been relatively quiet since the elections and though some rough days certainly lie ahead, it looks as though time is running out on Michael Moore's "Minute Men."

The question becomes: What would be the point of further terrorist activity in Iraq? Abu al-Zarqawi himself wrote:" There is no doubt that the space in which we can move has begun to shrink and that the grip around the throats of the Mujahidin has begun to tighten. With the deployment of soldiers and police, the future has become frightening." And this was written last February.

Even then, Zarqawi seemed to grasp the gravity of a successful election process better than the world's pundits: "If we fight them, that will be difficult because there will be a schism between us and the people of the region. How can we kill their cousins and sons and under what pretext, after the Americans start withdrawing? The Americans will continue to control from their bases, but the sons of this land will be the authority. This is the democracy, we will have no pretext."

Not only is their pretext gone, but, more importantly, their grip of fear over the citizenry has loosened as well. After witnessing the bravery of the Iraqi people, they have resorted to emasculating tactics such as the purported passing off of a GI Joe doll as a hostage, false claims of downing a British warplane and the despicable use of a Downs Syndrome boy as a vehicle for their particular brand of carnage.

Couple such events as the election of Mahmoud Abbas and this week's try at Palestinian /Israeli peace-making with serious democratic rumblings in Iran and you've got the stirring of a tsunami whose thunderous wave may yet sweep away centuries of Middle East hatred, want and despair.

A Domino Theory with Iraq as the first tile to fall in winning the War on Terror? Even some of the president's most ardent skeptics are grudgingly more open to the idea than ever before as it becomes clear that self-rule is not exclusively a Western concept.

An American sense of political familiarity is already taking hold in the new Iraq. Sounding every bit like big 'D' Beltway Democrats, some Sunnis are complaining that they were disenfranchised in an election they'd chosen to boycott. Can the lawyers be far behind?

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.

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