It's easy indeed to be pessimistic about human endeavors. I mean, all human endeavors and indeed all humans fail, and usually often. When you look for such failure and reasons to be dour, there is no doubt you will find it.
Imagine, for instance, if the world press took a critical look at France over a year's time. Recall that the French lost hundreds of people when the temperature got over 90 degrees last year. Now, if we wanted to, some of us could say some negative things about the French.
But on election day, the images from Iraq were pretty positive, in spite of the anticipated deadly terrorist attacks. We recall the long line of Muslim women in black burkas waiting to vote ... the Iraqi troops dancing in the streets ... voters braving suicide bombers, not mere rain or lines, simply to be heard ... the Iraqi policemen hugging in Basra ... the Iraqis weeping over just the opportunity to cast their ballots ... there was Geraldo Rivera stepping outside a polling place for a moment of solitude and some tears ... there was the young American troop on patrol, seeing some tangible results for the blood, sweat, and tears.
It's hard not to be pretty upbeat and proud upon seeing these images.
Yet, some try. Sen. John Kerry warned on "Meet the Press" yesterday that we not "over-hype" what happened in Iraq. (By the way, did he say if he still thought the vote should be delayed ... or has he changed his mind on this now, too?) The Democratic Underground, wasn't as guarded as their candidate, however, and simply went berserk ... or maybe "berserker". What do you call it when the crazy go even more insane, any way?
The critics notwithstanding, freedom won a major battle in Iraq over the weekend, and it did so in spite of its foes. Most of the formidable foes of freedom are political -- namely the Left and its MSM allies. Let's be honest: Most of the Left has been talking down our mission in Iraq, demeaning the commander-in-chief, incessantly focusing on Abu-Ghraib, arguing that a legitimate vote could not occur, and essentially minimizing every success. Some have even been openly cheering for American defeat in Iraq. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but this is true.
Can there be any good explanation for Ted Kennedy's disgraceful call for a troop withdrawal timetable -- comments that could have emboldened the insurgency -- just days before the historic election? How else do you explain Zarqawi's quoting of Kennedy's "Iraq is Viet Nam" speech chapter and verse? And why didn't Kennedy immediately denounce Zarqawi's embrace of his remarks? And where are the John McCains of the Left, standing up to Kennedy and calling his election-eve remarks disgraceful? Ah, but the silence has been deafening. Recall, too, that Sen. Kennedy made his remarks last week on the heels of the deadliest day for American troops in Iraq (36 killed) with terrorist violence on the rise. Was the Left hedging its bets, or did they agree with Sen. Kennedy? Put another way, were they cowardly or pessimistic, or both?
The most "positive" things we have heard from the Left leading up to the Iraqi elections were purported statements of concern for our troops, namely sorrow that the troops had been sent to Iraq for such a no good reason and for a hopeless mission. Yet, the troops have sought no such sympathy. Most all of them believe in the mission, love their commander-in-chief, and they all volunteered at any rate. To the military and its friends, such statements of "compassion" have sounded much like the white guy who proclaims, "I've got lots of black friends."
If you love this nation's military, then you stop criticizing what they are doing when they are being shot at. It's pretty simple, and ironically this is one of the great lessons of Viet Nam. Apparently, Sen. Kennedy doesn't care to recall this one, though.
Also, if you love this nation's military, you call Michael Moore the disgrace that he is. This miscreant has called the murderous terrorists we are fighting the equivalent of our own "minutemen." Moore is no friend of America or its military. Within days after 9/11, he was blaming America for this tragedy, egotistically droning anti-Americanism into his taped diary. Yet, the Left at most has only politely distanced themselves from Moore, when they did at all. Then, Moore nestles up to Pres. Jimmy Carter at the Democratic National Convention, and nary a Democrat blushed or even complained. Makes those who think wonder.
In spite of the incessant negativism and opposition from the Left and its MSM allies, the Iraqi election was indeed a "resounding success." Most people are pleasantly surprised. And many wonder what the President must have known to have believed so deeply in the prospects for elections in Iraq.
I think the President's faith was based on two things. First, he knows and has complete trust in our military. Those who know the professionalism, skill, and courage of the U.S. military are confident when it encounters a seemingly daunting task. Indeed, only American politicians have ever been able to stop the American military. The President knows the situation on the ground, shall we say, a bit better than the MSM. As I posted on Saturday, our troops have been dismantling the insurgency with great success. Those of you who treat the MSM as prophets have no idea that this has been occurring. But alas, even the most adept spinning ultimately collides with facts.
Second, the President has an abiding faith that the Iraqis, like all people, are up to freedom. This is because Iraqis, just like Americans, are created in the image of God. The President believes this with his whole being: "Freedom is the gift of the Almighty to mankind." Thus, he believed, candidly more than I did, that the Iraqis would brave the suicide bombers, bullets, and rockets and vote.
And vote they did, and in larger numbers than our recent "high-turnout" election. How weak, how vacuous, how cowardly do the Democrats' complaints of "long lines and rain" look now? To the Iraqis, simply getting to the ballot box was a great victory. The spontaneous celebrations over the weekend were launched without knowledge of the victors' identity.
So, I suppose you could be pessimistic about the Iraqi elections. Perhaps you could ... how do I say this? ... have it both ways on pessimism like Sen. Kerry by "avoiding getting over-hyped". But remember: A coward dies a thousand deaths, and a pessimist has a million bad days. But a hero lives for a purpose greater than himself, and an optimist always has reason to go on.
With that said, inspired by the heroes around me, I press on.