A lot has been written over the last four years about winning in Iraq, what it means, and whether it was even possible. A key ingredient identified by sages and pundits has been the willingness of the Iraqis themselves to "stand up". Some have assumed the Iraqis to be playing a waiting game, biding their time until our Left succeeds in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I have always thought the Iraqis wanted to join the modern world as a free nation, but were unsure whether they were allowed.
But can a culture built on extended families, tribal loyalty, and submission to authority produce such a result?
Another kind of winning may provide the answer. Iraq the Model gives the delirious Iraqi reaction to winning the Asia Cup Soccer championship, and has this to say:
Our players, tonight our heroes, learned that only with team work they had a chance to win.The soccer victory comes at a time when Iraqis are also beginning to trust that their American liberators are not out to permanently rule over them, but also are not going to abandon them to the extremists. As Mike DeVine explains at Redstate:
May our politicians learn from the players and from the fans who are painting a glorious image of unity and national pride, and let the terrorists know that nothing can kill the spirit of the sons of the immortal Tigris and Euphrates.
While I am not a big fan of the President, neither do I hold for him the unreasoning hatred that some do. His instincts and foreign policy idealism, so demonized by his detractors, are bearing fruit now in Iraq. He has from the beginning played to win the long war, which is the establishment of freedom in the Middle East. As Ben Franklin said of America, to explain why he was printing and circulating copies of our founding documents in France (before its revolution):
I don't think I have to explain what a sea change this is in Iraqi thinking, especially given our abandonment of them in 1991 and the 24/7 promise to al Qaeda calls for abandonment for the last 3 years by the leadership of the Democratic Party and most elected DC Democrats.
What I may need to remind some here of is who is most responsible for this sea change.
President George W. "the Liberator" Bush is responsible. He has never wavered in his commitment to keep faith with the millions of Iraqis that voted and that risk their lives daily fighting with our American and Coalition forces against al Qaeda and other forces of extremism that desire to defeat us and the forces of moderation in the Middle East.
Tyranny is so generally established in the rest of the world that the prospect of an asylum in America for those who love liberty gives general joy, and our cause is esteemed the cause of all mankind.
The prospect of an asylum for freedom in the Middle East is one the jihadists cannot abide. Yet the Iraqi people, seeing for themselves the military power freedom can create, and seeing the athletic prowess of the "sons of the Tigress and Euphrates", are standing up to the jihadists, distancing themselves from tyranny, and playing to win.
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