Iraq is going to be just fine

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According to Mark Steyn.

Bush won’t abolish all global tyranny by 2008 — that might have to wait till Condi’s second term — but he will abolish some of it, and today’s elections are as important in that struggle as any military victory.

Indeed.

The President

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Today the people of Iraq have spoken to the world, and the world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East.

In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists. They have refused to be intimidated by thugs and assassins. And they have demonstrated the kind of courage that is always the foundation of self-government.

Some Iraqis were killed while exercising their rights as citizens. We also mourn the American and British military personnel who lost their lives today. Their sacrifices were made in a vital cause of freedom, peace in a troubled region, and a more secure future for us all.

The Iraqi people, themselves, made this election a resounding success. Brave patriots stepped forward as candidates. Many citizens volunteered as poll workers. More than 100,000 Iraqi security force personnel guarded polling places and conducted operations against terrorist groups. One news account told of a voter who had lost a leg in a terror attack last year, and went to the polls today, despite threats of violence. He said, “I would have crawled here if I had to. I don’t want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me. Today I am voting for peace.”

Across Iraq today, men and women have taken rightful control of their country’s destiny, and they have chosen a future of freedom and peace. In this process, Iraqis have had many friends at their side. The European Union and the United Nations gave important assistance in the election process. The American military and our diplomats, working with our coalition partners, have been skilled and relentless, and their sacrifices have helped to bring Iraqis to this day. The people of the United States have been patient and resolute, even in difficult days.

The commitment to a free Iraq now goes forward. This historic election begins the process of drafting and ratifying a new constitution, which will be the basis of a fully democratic Iraqi government. Terrorists and insurgents will continue to wage their war against democracy, and we will support the Iraqi people in their fight against them. We will continue training Iraqi security forces so this rising democracy can eventually take responsibility for its own security.

There’s more distance to travel on the road to democracy. Yet Iraqis are proving they’re equal to the challenge. On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Iraq on this great and historic achievement.

Thank you very much.

–George W. Bush

Funny

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The Iraq elections are Teddy Kennedy’s Vietnam.
–John Podhoretz

A success

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Even the BBC says it. It must be true.

Oh, and this is one to keep.

Completely unrelated

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Can I say that I really think Northern Exposure was one of the best shows on television. I’ve been watching reruns these past weeks and I cannot think of another show which has ever been better.

Go ahead, watch Northern Exposure for yourself. It’s a show which is good for the soul, very good, and that is a rather rare thing to say about anything on television.

Another good point

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A man on CNN just noted that large numbers of Afrikaaners did not vote in South Africa during their first open election. Yet, I suspect, most of the world considered Mandela legitimate.

Simply put, the only thing which would make this election seem illegitimate for Democrats is the fact that Republicans may have turned out to not have engaged in a new Vietnam. There are a significant numbers of Democrats who would rather see Iraq fail than see Bush succeed, a very, very sad fact.

This will be a legitimate election with a new government in Iraq representing Iraqis. The only illegitimacy will be the sadsack Democrats who have shown they have nothing to contribute. Again… there are those in the party that do and I hope the old guard is put down after their failings and a new group are allowed to shine.

Kerry and Boxer and Kennedy are illegitimate… not the election in Iraq. And curiously, it will almost definitely be the case that the elected officials in Iraq are more legitimate than the new governor of Washington. I’m sure I missed the congressional outrage in this case. I’m sure once they get the issues in Ohio settled they will turn their attention westward. Right?

Oh.. while I’m at it. Rice in ’08!

Irrelevance

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If this Iraq election turns out right, as it seems to be, methinks the Democrats will have essentially destroyed their party. Not that there aren’t good causes which the Democrats can take up… it’s more that in not taking these up either they doom themselves to an irrelevant third party status, while a viable party which has both purpose and positive vision takes over what the leaders have wrought.

They are the party of opposition, not the party of vision, and really opposition in the face of a changing world shows only fear and blind partisanship. John Kerry said today, ” “It is hard to say that something is legitimate when whole portions of the country can’t vote and doesn’t vote,”

Someone else a while back said this:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

That is the voice of a leader, though, according to Kerry’s standards an illegitimate leader. Whole portions, a good half in fact, of the country didn’t vote for that man, but it didn’t really take away Lincoln’s right to lead the whole country. It is too bad that the terrorists of that day didn’t let him finish the work.

It’s not a question of policy. It is a question of hope and perseverance, so the more the Democrats fight the debates of three years ago, the more they will be seen as folks no one wants to be around.

The sad thing is they are abdicating their own responsibility. By being nothing more than childish opposition who reply “no” to every “yes” no matter the topic, the folks who depend on the balancing of the right are at a loss. If Iraq turns out to be a strong country in six months or a year I cannot imagine the Democrats living down their last two years without a drastic change in leadership.

God bless the Iraqi people. And may he raise up some folks in the Democratic party who really do care for the poor and will fight for the environment. Because when a party is focused on partisanship, once again it is the voiceless who suffer.

Need a laugh

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I found myself off the mark this morning and, you know, it’s been a long time since I’ve laughed as hard. Good stuff. Have a spare moment and treat yourself to a laugh.

Theses on Worship

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Gary Parrett has posted on the contemporary version of a community door some thoughts concerning worship. My conceptions on worship tend towards being a wee bit different than most folks so I was rather surprised to see Gary Parrett reflect just about exactly how I see it.

Here they are:

  1. Our heavenly Father wills that the whole life of believers should be worship.
  2. The word worship, when applied to public gatherings of the saints, must not be reduced to a synonymfor singing praises to God.
  3. Worship involves a rhythm of revelation and response: God graciously reveals himself to us, and we faithfully respond— all the elements must help worshipers participate in this rhythm.
  4. Those who lead the congregation in song must be theologically equipped for this important task.
  5. Faithful response to God involves more than praise—we need a much broader range of songs available for congregations.
  6. The body of Christ in worship is morethan assembly of individual worshipers— we need more we songs.
  7. The body of Christ is far bigger than what wesee in the gathered community—and our songs should reflect this.
  8. Those who lead the church in song are called to assist the congregation in its singing, not to replace it—technologies such as amplification must be used with theological and pastoral sensitivity.
  9. The Seeker that we must serve in our worship services is, first and foremost, God himself.
  10. In its services of public worship, the church must obey such Scriptures as Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Read Parrett’s theses on worship in more detail. They are well worth tacking on whatever door suits you and your community.

Thought for the Day

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Our holy fathers have renounced all other spiritual work and concentrated wholly on this one doing, that is, on guarding the heart, convinced that, through this practice, they would easily attain every other virtue, whereas without it not a single virtue can be firmly established.

–Symeon the New Theologian