Lee P Butler

Sometimes What The World Needs Is A Cowboy

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Operation Iraqi Freedom Expands Throughout The Middle East
Freedom's march: The president has been right on some big questions. Now, if he can get the little stuff right, he'll change the worldBadges of courage: About 8 million Iraqis defied threats of terrorism and cast their ballots in January's national elections.

Badges of courage: About 8 million Iraqis defied threats of terrorism and cast their ballots in January's national elections

Jamal Saidi / Reuters

 
A Look Back
Turning points since September 11.
 
Here is what Clinton said at a meeting on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, just a few weeks ago: “Iran today is, in a sense, the only country where progressive ideas enjoy a vast constituency. It is there that the ideas that I subscribe to are defended by a majority.”
 
 
 
 

  Sometimes What The World Needs Is A Cowboy 

3-07-2005

The most important aspect of the Iraqi election was that the world saw for the first time an ‘in your face’ moment where the Iraqi people came together and openly showed the world that what they wanted was freedom.

Even people who were against the war can’t continue to assert that Saddam could simply have been contained, negating Operation Iraqi Freedom, when the world witnessed a transcendental moment in history where the Iraqi’s embraced Democracy amid threats of violence proving the necessity to remove him as an impediment to that liberty.

As the rest of the world watched the success of the Iraqi elections, another magnanimous transformation began to spread much like goose bumps on flesh. An unrest among the people of other Middle Eastern dictatorships started developing and the leaders of some of those countries quickly assessed the change of attitude among their people.

Suddenly, Saudi Arabia was announcing that their country would start considering altering the electoral process, or lack thereof, they had fervently followed for centuries. Why they may even allow women to vote!

Egypt quickly followed suit and said that they were for the first time in their country’s history, going to have multi-party elections. Now, even if they don’t exactly follow true democratic elections, just as in Iraq, everybody has to start somewhere.

We’ve known for years that the youth of Iran has been inching towards an uprising against the mullahs who have ruled that dictatorship. During his inauguration speech President Bush spoke passionately about spreading liberty everywhere and even those who chastised his words as being ‘empty rhetoric’ and ‘flowery’ knew he was speaking directly to the Iranian youth when he said ‘we will stand with you’.

In Lebanon, the one leader who had openly embraced freedom for his country, Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated and the people of Lebanon took to the streets. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier told Syria it was time to get out of Lebanon, giving the Lebanese people a chance for a decent election.

The Syrian puppet who took over for slain leader Hariri, Omar Karami and his Syrian-controlled cabinet unexpectedly resigned amid the cacophony of the Lebanese protesters and their calls for him to find the killers of Hariri. They also demanded the resignation of their Syrian-supported president, Emile Lahoud.

While they screamed for Syria to get out of their country, the demonstrators also cried for freedom and they openly called for the man who now represents liberty in the Middle East. “I love America. Tell Bush to come here,” protesters yelled to cameras and anyone who would listen. “This is a great day for all Arab people.”

Even one of Syria’s most important allies, Russia, was agreeing with statements from President Bush and Secretary Rice that, “The Syrians need to withdraw their troops, they need to withdraw their security personnel and they simply need to realize that they don’t have any support in the international system any longer to maintain their presence there.”

The problem Middle Eastern totalitarian governments are facing is that they cannot do anything to suppress these uprisings the way they would have in the past. Before, appeasers such as France, worked desperately to keep these totalitarian governments in power by simply asserting they were being kept in check.

All the while, operating behind the rhetoric of the appeasers, those dictatorial regimes would senselessly slaughter hundreds of thousands of their own people effectively suppressing their yearning for freedom. The false curtain of ‘rhetorical appeasement’ gave countries the fallacious yet effective ability to turn a blind eye to the human rights atrocities that were taking place in those Middle Eastern countries.

Because of the decisive action in Iraq by the Coalition of the Willing, that has come to an abrupt end. Countries in the world arena see the people of the Middle East reaching out and rallying in the face of danger for freedom and democracy. Nay-sayers who once held the contention that the Arab world didn’t want democracy ‘forced’ upon them, have now begun to hang their heads in dismay as Arabs and Muslims chant for liberty.

The ‘flowery message’ of President Bush’s foreign policy that stresses liberty for everyone, has put the appeaser nations in the unpleasant position of having to take action, even if that action is simply a public castigation of dictatorial regimes, warning them not to commit the atrocities that previously would have taken place when they started retaliating against their people.

The dictators of those regimes realize they have to choose between one of two things. Either they back down their normally aggressive posture against their people or they have to openly attack those people for the whole world to see.

If they choose to attack, multiple useless resolutions from the United Nations Security Council won’t keep the world’s people from speaking out for something to be done by the very countries who have always hidden behind the curtain of the UN and its non-committal resolutions. The same people who once marched the streets and proclaimed President Bush a ‘terrorist’ for liberating Iraq.

Former high ranking foreign policy advisor to Clinton, Nancy Soderberg, responded to the acclamation by Jon Stewart of 'The Daily Show' that the actions of President Bush were growing more successful spreading liberty with each passing day by saying, "Well, there's always hope that this might not work. There's always hope that this might not work,” then added, “I think it's all moving in the right direction. I'll have to give them credit for that. We'll see. We still have North Korea and Iran to go our way.”

Some people in this country and across the globe may still hope for failure with the spreading of liberty to suppressed countries, but the rest of us know that success is an inevitability, because the yearning for freedom is universal.

And despite acrimony from certain individuals, sometimes the world needs a cowboy to make that possible.

Lee P Butler

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