Tuesday, March 09, 2004


Taking words from our own National Anthem to highlight the rocky road that progress demands.
The birth of Iraqi democracy

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

– from the US national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner

As the Iraqi Governing Council signed its nation's new interim constitution yesterday, five rockets hit the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad and two rockets hit near the convention center where the council had gathered. The New York Times reported that Lt. Col. Randy Lane, standing near the spot where the rockets had been launched, said, "I think there are definitely people who are trying to stop the new Iraq from emerging."

Freedom and independence rarely come without a struggle, as Americans and Israelis know. The road ahead for Iraqi democracy is a long one and the outcome is not guaranteed. Yesterday's signing, however, was undoubtedly an historic moment in the history of Iraq, the Middle East, and the world...

This day also represents a sea change in American policy, and even for the Bush administration. In his first campaign, Bush opposed his Democratic predecessor's penchant for nation-building. Now, post 9/11, Bush is engaged in region-building, with the new Iraq as the centerpiece.

Politicians do not like to admit changes of mind, but this is one to be proud of. If anything, it is those who cling to the pre-9/11 notion of "stability" who have something to explain.
(Emphasis mine)

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