Over the past year or so I have followed a number of Iraqi bloggers. I normally have no particular reaction to posts -- I view them as a singular view (by the blogger) of life from their perspective. I enjoy reading a number of recountings of the same event and then sorting out what might be the reasonable version of the truth.
However, some bloggers can get under my skin. You know -- the one's that insist that everything past, present and future is all our (the US) fault. It (however unfortunately) affirms to me the widely held view that it can never be an Arab's fault. It must always be someone else's failure. It's usually the Israeli's fault. Could be some other Muslim sect than the one of the one doing the complaining or finger pointing. But it's really all an excuse for the complainer taking no responsibility for their own existence or destiny.
I once had a teenager complain that the reason they were routinely in trouble (at home, at school) was that they "didn't like rules." Then I reminded them that life was full of rules, even if they weren't written down. If you're hungry, the rule is you have to go to the fridge for food. If the room is too dark, the rule is you have to turn on the light switch. If the light is red, you have to stop. This is the rule of society, as well. If you don't like what you see around you, you have to do something to change it. God's rule says you must try and make it better.
And I tire of hearing "if Allah wills it". People with a sincere devotion to their God do something with the opportunities God/Allah gives them to better their lives and the lives of those around them and thereby better serve God. To wait for someone or something else to determine your destiny is just plain laziness or depression or some other condition that challenges Darwin's principle theory. And as for the latest book or fad book -- people tend to choose books that support a previously-held belief; they hardly ever truly enlighten since politically inspired books are written from a single point of few. And, of course, I should believe as truth the writings and opinions of a nuclear scientist associated with Saddam Hussein the madman??
I am grateful that not all Iraqis think the way of those bloggers that see no hope, though I fear that there are too many of them. I fear that such fatalism (and that's what it is) will keep Iraqis from the polls. Did it ever occur to them to ask why the terrorists are so intent on undermining the election and keeping Iraqis from voting?
Well, I'd like to tell them what we know here in the US: you can't win it if you ain't in it. We also know that a single vote -- every vote -- counts. Sometimes the candidate we support wins. Sometimes not. But we get to decide every four years. Change our government's policies by changing our government. It's really the coolest thing. And while those who do not vote have no real right to complain, but we let them anyway. And in this initial election where those that will craft the first modern Iraqi constitution it is vital that everyone take the opportunity to influence those who will do the writing and send the loudest message that Iraq and her people can not -- will not -- be stopped from joining the 21st century. Will the results be perfect? They never are. The victory is that there ARE results!
Democracy is not perfect. But it's the best thing going anywhere. Our constitution is not perfect either otherwise we would never have to even consider amending it, but it protects my right to say these things openly and freely, to practice (or not practice) a religion -- my religion but not your religion, to vote or not vote. But every four years I get to choose. It's just the coolest thing.