Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who fought Saddam for many years and led troops in battle with the Americans against Baathists and al Qaeda in Iraq, announces that he will not seek a third term.
Likewise, the Father of our Country and its first President also led troops against the British and then astounded the world by voluntarily relinquishing his power.
Just now and recently, the world's eyes have been riveted by the thousands in the streets of Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere in the Middle East. Many rightly worry that the outcomes could be disastrous if they go the way of Iran and become safe havens for terrorists.
Would that they go the way of Iraq. Would that Egypt will raise up a man like al-Maliki.
Is the post-war Iraq the equivalent of Connecticut, as a certain rooster likes to say in this column, somewhat sheepishly. No, but neither was 18th Century Connecticut, Connecticut, what with chattel slavery and an established state religion. But 21st Century Prince Georges County, Maryland had more killings last month than were had in al-Maliki's Iraq, which, like Connecticut of 200 years ago has a state religion.
Given the inherent problems of Islam's Koran, Hadith and violent history of Mohammed, Iraq may never reach the level of tolerance and prosperity of America. After all, no nation in the 5000 year history of Earth has even done that. But the Third Way that President George W. Bush, al-Maliki and Iraqi freedom fighters alongside the armed forces of the United States has made possible in Iraq can't but be an inspiration to those suffering under oppression all across the Middle East.
But a mob, crowd and riots does not a democracy movement make absent at least one man with courage that makes a majority. America is the Shining City on a Hill because of many factors, especially including the Judeo-Christian values shared by most all of the people. But it also took a committed and courageous minority led by a George Washington, and at other times by an Abraham Lincoln or an Andrew Jackson.
Iraq may also be doing so well because of the decade-long example of our values on display for the benefit of the people of Iraq. They watched Saddam kill tens of thousands of political opponents in wood chippers at Abu Ghraib. In contrast, they saw America send sexual deviant jailers to the Brig for putting lamps on real criminals heads. They have watched Americans die for their freedom and they joined in the fight with purple fingers.
No, voting is not all that matters, especially in the first election. But in Iraq there have now been many election cycles, and the majority have not turned the country over to extremists like the Muslim Brotherhood progenitors of al Qaeda based in Egypt. In fact, Iraqi soldiers joined with Americans to kill thousands of Osama bin Laden acolytes.
It would be helpful if America had their most recent George in the White House just now, instead of the anti-Founders Obama. The chances of a George Washington arising in Egypt would certainly be enhanced. But all of God's children hate oppression and long for liberty. Let us hope that the example they choose is the stable nation of Iraq where soccer is played on former battlefields and the masses go to work instead of town squares, except on Election Days.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” - Andrew Jackson