Iraq Elections

Congratulations to the People of Iraq:

Today's elections will, I expect, go largely unnoticed back home. In a way that is a mark of the success of the Iraqi nation and our servicemembers.

Speaking only for myself, I was up at 0445 this morning. I spent the day at headquarters, to advise the command staff in case of difficulty across our operating environment. As a show of honor to the Iraqis who stood forth to vote, we began the morning with a playing of the Iraqi national anthem in the TOC. No Iraqis were there to know, but it was for them all the same. All of us know many Iraqis, work with them, eat with them in their homes.

This is their victory, but I cannot help but feel like a small stakeholder in it -- I suppose it is how you would feel if you purchased a few early shares in a company that grew strong. My part in it is negligible, but in small ways it is my fault: I supported the war before it began, and for what I thought and still think were just reasons. I have been here for certain parts of it, and contributed according to my limited powers as well as I can.

In the sense that I supported the war, I must of course accept that a part of the blood shed is my fault. Indeed, in a sense, all of it is at least partially my responsibility: it is the magic of guilt that it can be divided without being lessened.

There is a similar magic at work here, though it is not so powerful as guilt's. Credit must be lessened if divided, and I will claim no part of it. What I do feel a stake in is the pride, and something of the joy, that must attend those people who are voting for the first time not to establish a government but to change one.

Good work, Iraq. Bravo Zulu to the ISF. Thank you, to all who did more than me. It was a pleasure to see it up close.

No comments: