Resolve an Indicator
of the Future of World Freedom
by Ak'Bar Shabazz
People around the world are
anxiously watching America for indications about their own future.
It is up to the American people
to determine how far freedom will spread across the planet. It
is America's resolve in the war on terror will determine the
Despite a seemingly constant
stream of negative reports on the condition and direction of
the transition in Iraq, tremendous positive changes are happening
every day. Obviously, the battle isn't over, but there are several
reasons to be optimistic. Iraq now has an interim government
and elections are planned in a country that had previously been
run by a dictator and his henchmen for over 20 years. Saddam's
torture chambers and rape rooms are out of business. The Iraqi
people are no longer afraid to speak out against perceived injustices
or exercise freedoms denied for decades. Political liberty, along
with economic opportunity, now reigns in a region where freedom
is still scarce.
Life in Iraq has improved.
Media reports, however, rarely stress the positive. As a result,
American public opinion is now mixed. A poll of Minnesota residents
conducted by the Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio in
September found those surveyed almost evenly divided between
those who supported the liberation of Iraq, those who opposed
it and those who thought it was the right thing to do but lacked
American Jews and Arabs are
finding common ground on the issue. An American Jewish Council
poll found a majority of Jews against current Iraq policy. A
similar poll by the Arab American Institute found President Bush's
approval ratings very low in part because "many Arabs are
unhappy with [Bush's] conduct in the war on terror."
Our enemies are undoubtedly
using these polls as a measure of our diligence in opposing them.
If polls should consistently turn against our current policy
in Iraq and the war on terror, they'll expect our nation to be
more willing to engage in negotiations rather than in battle.
They can quietly build their strength and potentially continue
any nuclear programs they are suspected to possess. After opposing
new weapons and even funding for the troops on the ground in
Iraq, liberals who comprise the majority of anti-war sentiment
don't seem ready for a sudden change of heart. They may talk
tough at times, but they seem to lack the fortitude to actually
go to war when the threat presents itself.
If liberals had been in charge
of late, Saddam Hussein would likely still be in power. His sons
might still be raiding the local schools and his henchmen dismembering
and throwing those who oppose them from buildings. Iraq might
still be a dictatorship without any visible signs of democracy
or freedom. Libya would not have begun negotiating themselves
out of the terrorism business and international bullies such
as North Korea, Syria and Iran would not be feeling the heat.
Those who condemn the removal
of Saddam empower other regimes with similar strangleholds on
their citizens while weakening their indigenous resistance movements.
It's human nature to desire
self-determination. It's an innate desire within us all. The
oppressed in Iran and North Korea are no different than those
in the old Iraq, but they remain muted by their brutal governments.
Their voice can only be heard if others are willing to come to
Liberals publicly claim to
be supporters of the oppressed, but they conveniently forget
about the people worldwide who are yearning to be free from dictatorships.
To lose our resolve at this time could be a death sentence for
many of those who simply want to enjoy the freedoms we take for
Ak'Bar Shabazz, an Atlanta native, is president of Shabazz Enterprises
and member of African-American leadership network, Project 21.
Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research.
Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries
reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those
of Project 21.
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