We are living in historic times. Historic times when the daunting challenge of bringing democracy to the Middle East has begun to make progress. For all of us this is a chance to experience, if not first hand, what could possibly be one of the greatest accomplishments of the 21st century. The United States has stood strong in the face of challenge before. Former President Roosevelt stood up to the Nazis, former President John F. Kennedy beat the Soviets to the moon, and former president Ronald Reagan crushed the Berlin Wall. Now, George W. Bush has positioned America to begin reform in one of the most pitiable regions on earth.
On Sunday Iraq's first democratic election in over 50 years was held and the result was a resounding victory for the cause of freedom. Those casting ballots danced and sang in the streets, all while facing the threat of attacks from the cowardly savages that wage war on innocent women and children instead of soldiers.
Voter turnout however was well over 60 percent, which even topped the turnout here in the United States (59.6 percent) where democracy and the right to vote were established almost 230 years ago. Iraqis proved on Sunday that they do not resent our liberation as many pessimists and peaceniks claim, but they appreciate our effort to help them back to their feet after years of brutal treatment from their own government.
Many claimed this was an impossible feat, many here in our own country said this was too difficult a task. Some even rooted for our loss in Iraq, merely to spite the president. Yet these traitors still refer to themselves as "patriots" and claim to love our country. As President Bush has said, the eyes of the world are upon us, those who have doubted our resolve have been surprised and those who have stood by us have become even closer allies.
The other countries of this region are now aware of the United State's impenetrable opposition to tyranny and dictatorships. They have begun to fear our troops and military mega-power a lot less than they fear the suffrage of their own oppressed citizens. The Middle East is at the edge of a new beginning and they look now at Iraq and Afghanistan as an example of a better way. Countries that stand to prevent our destruction of terrorism (Syria, Iran, Palestine, and I dare say France) now understand exactly what risk they are taking.
We never claimed this would be an easy task, we just claimed that it needed to be done. Lives have been lost, as they are in any war. But those serving our country abroad can rest assured that the job they are completing is not only right and just but will be remembered in the annals of history forever. One day many of us will tell our grandchildren about the bravery our troops displayed in route to changing the world, as many of our grandparents did for us.
The United States is no longer a subtle witness to the on goings of the world. We have proven that we will lead the on goings in the world. And we have proclaimed with a loud voice that no challenge is too daunting for the United States.
Ryan Chapman is a junior business marketing major. His column runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.