Because 40 Degrees Below Zero Keeps Out the Riff-Raff
Syndicate this site
Listed on BlogShares

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

From Bucharest to Baghdad
In OpinionJournal today, the US Ambassador to Romania compares Iraq today to Romania almost 15 years ago. About Romania, he says:
The effects of the one-party system Ceausescu built are still being felt today. But the mentality of Romanians is on the mend. Younger Romanians, who have grown up in a free society and studied and worked in the West, are beginning to return to the land of their birth, bustling with entrepreneurial energy and new ideas. Corruption, still a problem, was once accepted as the "grease of commerce" here. It is now criticized across the political spectrum and was the issue that proved decisive in the election of the new president. (italics mine)
That last sentence is most heartening because Romania wasn't going anywhere until "equality under the law" became the ruling principle of society. It's that kind of widespread commitment to the principles of freedom and equality that will carry Iraq to democracy. I hope the commitment is there in numbers.
Some critics say the Iraqi people are not capable of democracy. Many said the same of Romanians in the early 1990s. On the contrary, Democracy will succeed in Iraq--but only if the free nations of the West stand with the Iraqi people, support and help them the way we did the people of Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Baltics, and now Ukraine.

The people of Romania know that the road to a free society is long and it is tough. But as they will tell you on the streets of Bucharest today, democracy is the only way to go. If the world's free nations show the same steadfastness in Iraq that we showed in Central Europe 15 years ago, the people on the streets of Baghdad today will have the same opportunity to start their journey.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Comments: Post a Comment
Contact Banterings

With Thanks To
This page is powered by Blogger.
Add Us To Your Blogroll
Get Involved

Your e-mail address:

Put this on your site

Copyright © 2003 By Nick Hodges All Rights Reserved
This page is an enthusiastic expression of our right to free speech.
The original design of this Template is Copyright © 2002 by (Thought I have made a bunch of improvements....)