"We've seen juvenile Iraqis holding up ink stained fingers and celebrating their freedom." George W. Bush, January 28, 2007
I have long been frustrated with the substitution of a symbol for the actual practice of democracy and freedom. Remember the State of the Union Address in 2005 with all of the Republicans sporting newly stained fingers? Yet "our" president continues with this pointless rhetoric. President Bush has to go back to years to find something positive about the nascent government in Iraq. Casting a ballot is not liberty, by that measure both Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro have ruled over free societies.
Democracy, liberty, and freedom exist as a state of being in their truest form. They are not enjoyed through the singular civic act for voting, but are experienced in perpetual freedom of voice, action, and thought. It is no wonder the President George W. Bush confuses what freedom means for the Iraqi people as he has fought to restrict the freedoms of his fellow Americans.
I can only hope that our next president has the strength of character and good judgment to use actual progress as the measure for success and doesn't inflate a fleeting moment of promise into a defining achievement. How many innocent Iraqi's have died since 2005? How many more will die before Bush's folly in the Mid-East is over?