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Monday, February 28, 2005

Rooting for the Bad Guys

Here's the latest from Tara Ross, author of Enlightened Democracy. -- Moderator

Why do some liberals remain chronically pessimistic about the state of affairs in Iraq? At times, they almost seem to be rooting for the bad guys.

This week, history was made in the nation formerly ruled by the ruthless tyrant, Saddam Hussein. For the first time in decades, the Iraqi people were given the opportunity to cast their votes in a democratic election. Brave men and women across the nation were so overjoyed at their newfound freedom that they went to the polls in droves, even though they knew that they could be killed by terrorists as they cast their ballots.

They walked miles to polling stations. They spoke of their duty as Iraqis and of the elation that they felt after voting. They grinned from ear to ear as they talked to American media cameras. They danced in the streets.

The consequences of this free election will reverberate for years to come. What must others in the Middle East, particularly those who are not free, feel after hearing about this Iraqi election? The first domino has fallen. More will follow.

But in the face of this achievement, many liberals in America positively glowered.

Why do so many liberals find themselves unable to be happy when their fellow countrymen succeed? Can they only be happy when a Democratic administration achieves foreign policy successes?

Bush hatred has become a defining characteristic for many liberals--so much so that they appear to identify with it more surely and swiftly than they do their American citizenship. At times, some extremist liberals seem to be rooting against their fellow Americans and in favor of those who would kill us.

The rantings of the hard Left could be heard across the blogosphere on Sunday. One liberal message board, Democratic Underground, was ablaze with disdain and loathing for the election that so many Iraqis celebrated on January 30.

A startling remark from "ShinerTX": "All the media keeps talking about is how happy the Iraqis are, how high turnout was, and how 'freedom' has spread to Iraq. I had to turn off CNN because they kept focusing on the so-called 'voters' and barely mentioned the resistance movements at all. Where are the freedom fighters today?" (Gasp! Freedom fighters?)
A more typical comment came from "alarimer": "Whatever it is, it's bulls***. Totally bogus made-up numbers by this f***ing piece of s*** Bush administration. They need turnout to be high to claim victory." (Profanity, of course, is quite a vital component of any intellectual and scholarly discourse.)
A sarcastic remark from "Dark": "Yea, this is going to be a great representative government, With a third of the counrty [sic] not voting. A very volitaile [sic] third." (By this standard, American government is a sham as well. Oh wait. Ranting liberals already think that American government is a sham, don't they?)

Liberals in the Senate compounded the problem, offering generally dour assessments of the efforts in Iraq this week. "[N]o one in the United States," Kerry intoned, "should try to overhype this election." Senator Ted Kennedy renewed his calls for troop withdrawal, arguing that the Bush administration "must look beyond the election." Senator Carl Levin echoed the sourpuss attitude of these two men. "I'm afraid there were some areas where the turnout is extremely low, and that's the Sunni Triangle areas or parts thereof," Levin noted, "And that's the challenge that we now face."

Do Kerry, Kennedy, Levin, and other ranting liberal bloggers really have so little respect for the millions of Iraqi voters who risked life and limb to make it to a polling booth? How can they be so slow to understand and value the desire for freedom that drives all people, even those that happen to reside in the Middle East?

But, of course, these liberals really are not slow to understand. They are simply blinded by their hatred for all things Bush. Does anyone believe that these hard-left liberals would look upon the Iraq election with such negativity if it had occurred under a Clinton or Kerry administration? Highly doubtful.

Shouldn't Americans always root for America first and their political parties second?

To be fair, some conservatives made similar mistakes when President Clinton was in office. Such attitudes were wrong then, too.

Today, like it or not, success for Iraq equals success for America. The policy debate regarding whether or not American troops should or should not have gone into Iraq is over. The troops are there. The mission is already under way. All Americans--Republican and Democrat, conservatives and liberals--should root for American troops to succeed in restoring peace, stability, and freedom to Iraq. Rooting for failure is rooting for America's enemies.

Speaking on "The O'Reilly Factor" this week, Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh characterized the Iraqi Election Day as a good day for the Bush administration, but a bad day for Democrats. Precisely wrong.

January 30 was a good day for Americans.

Tara Ross is a commentator for American Enterprise and the author of Enlightened Democracy. This article first appeared as a column at


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