Iraqi blogger Husayn at DemocracyinIraq described his voting experience yesterday:
It will be a day forever remembered. My voting was only a simple act, I went, I identified myself, got my finger stained, filled out a ballot, and dropped it in a box.
It is not a complex or grand process to the eye, but it is one that I will forever remember and will recount to my children, and their children.
And God willing it will be remembered through the ages.
Condoleezza Rice, speaking last Thursday to State Department employees, provided some historical context to the extraordinary time we are in:
Now, I want to close with a kind of personal recollection as I start here, and that is that the last time I was in government was actually 1989 to 1991. And that, too, was an extraordinary time.
I was lucky enough to be the White House Soviet Specialist at the end of the Cold War. It doesn't get much better than that. And I got to participate in German unification and the liberation of
Eastern Europeand the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union.
But, you know, I realized that I was just harvesting good decisions that had been made in 1946 and 1947 and 1948 . . . .
You think about it. In 1947, civil wars in Greece and Turkey; and in 1948, the permanent division of Germany, thanks to the Berlin crisis; and in 1949, the Soviet Union explodes a nuclear weapon five years ahead of schedule and the Chinese communists win.
While no one might have been able, at that time, to imagine a democratic
or a democratic Germany , when President Bush now sits across from Chancellor Schroeder or from Prime Minister Koizumi, he sits across not just from a friend, but a democratic friend. Japan
I know that there are those who wonder whether democracy can take hold in the rocky soil of the
West Bankor in or in Iraq . I believe that we, as Americans, who know how hard the path to democracy is, have to believe that it can. Afghanistan
What amazing times we are living in. It is 1946, 1947 and 1948 again.
And it may extend far beyond
SAFIRE: I think history will look back and say it was definitely worth it, because, if we can turn around
Iraq, which was the worst of all the countries in the Middle East, if we can instill some sense of democracy and freedom there, we can change the world. . . .
I think the mood in the
Middle Eastchanged with our regime change of and, of course, with the demise of Yasser Arafat. Iraq
BLITZER: So you see a connection between
and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Iraq
SAFIRE: Of course. Yes.