Freedom's Retort

Today is a great day for freedom — in Iraq, the Middle East and around the world. But not for those, within and without, who never wanted this day of democracy to arrive in a place where once stood a brutal tyrant. Those who screamed — and scream still — with every fiber of being against the notion that all men are created equal and that within them beats the heart of self—determination and self—rule know who they are. They must live with the consequences of their words and deeds, and they must live forever in the dark corridors of the wrong side of history.

It is well and right to heap praise upon President George W. Bush and his administration for the historic day of elections in Iraq. This administration has held fast in the face of slander and neverending attack in its desire to devise a new response to a new set of threats. This administration has never lost sight of the undeniable truth that September 11, 2001 changed everything, and that a rising evil willing to murder innocents and funnel manpower and money to the goal of eliminating free peoples required and demanded action.

There will be time enough to write about the historic implications of the decisions this administration has made and carried out; indeed, the epic nature of what has transpired in Iraq cannot be summarized with a few short paragraphs of plaudits. Suffice it to say for now that the presidency of George W. Bush will not be "nothing" compared to the giants of American history as he so modestly put it during a television interview this past week. George W. Bush, it is true, stands on the shoulders of Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Yet he has carved out his own place in this pantheon of American liberators. History will bear this out and perhaps he has been able to ignore those alluded to before because the President's vision is clear on this point. It is a mark of great leadership.

Yet no policy, no plan of attack and counterattack, is any good without implementation, and we must not forget the men and women who made this day possible. The historic Iraqi elections are the highest honor and tribute to the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States Armed Services, and to the men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion not just to their country, but to the ideal that the freedom of man is the most noble ideal for which fellow men can fight.

As the President stands shoulder—to—shoulder with the greatest chiefs this nation has ever had, so does the soldier in this conflict stand with those who fought at Saratoga, on the bloody fields of Gettysburg, in the trenches of France and the islands of the South Pacific.

This day of freedom and celebration belongs to those who manned the tanks that sped toward Baghdad; Reservists who drove supply line trucks over dangerous ground getting food and gasoline to their fellows; Marines who cleaned out the nests of rats in Fallujah and elsewhere; the troops that tracked down the mad tyrant in his hole and said "President Bush sends his regards"; the thousands of men and women who have signed on with one branch of service or another after the mission in Iraq began; Guardsmen and women who knew their friends and family needed assistance in the Gulf, yet demanded to stay with their missions in Iraq; Special Operations carrying out the most harrowing of missions.

These men and women heeded and heed the eternal words found in Joshua: "Be strong and of good courage..." We all — American and Iraqi — owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. In lieu of that payment, it is hoped that a humble and grateful salute will do. Thank you, soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen of the United States. The cause of freedom and liberty endures thanks to your noble service.

Matt May is a freelance writer and can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com; He is the proprietor of the blog Matt May.

Today is a great day for freedom — in Iraq, the Middle East and around the world. But not for those, within and without, who never wanted this day of democracy to arrive in a place where once stood a brutal tyrant. Those who screamed — and scream still — with every fiber of being against the notion that all men are created equal and that within them beats the heart of self—determination and self—rule know who they are. They must live with the consequences of their words and deeds, and they must live forever in the dark corridors of the wrong side of history.

It is well and right to heap praise upon President George W. Bush and his administration for the historic day of elections in Iraq. This administration has held fast in the face of slander and neverending attack in its desire to devise a new response to a new set of threats. This administration has never lost sight of the undeniable truth that September 11, 2001 changed everything, and that a rising evil willing to murder innocents and funnel manpower and money to the goal of eliminating free peoples required and demanded action.

There will be time enough to write about the historic implications of the decisions this administration has made and carried out; indeed, the epic nature of what has transpired in Iraq cannot be summarized with a few short paragraphs of plaudits. Suffice it to say for now that the presidency of George W. Bush will not be "nothing" compared to the giants of American history as he so modestly put it during a television interview this past week. George W. Bush, it is true, stands on the shoulders of Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Yet he has carved out his own place in this pantheon of American liberators. History will bear this out and perhaps he has been able to ignore those alluded to before because the President's vision is clear on this point. It is a mark of great leadership.

Yet no policy, no plan of attack and counterattack, is any good without implementation, and we must not forget the men and women who made this day possible. The historic Iraqi elections are the highest honor and tribute to the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States Armed Services, and to the men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion not just to their country, but to the ideal that the freedom of man is the most noble ideal for which fellow men can fight.

As the President stands shoulder—to—shoulder with the greatest chiefs this nation has ever had, so does the soldier in this conflict stand with those who fought at Saratoga, on the bloody fields of Gettysburg, in the trenches of France and the islands of the South Pacific.

This day of freedom and celebration belongs to those who manned the tanks that sped toward Baghdad; Reservists who drove supply line trucks over dangerous ground getting food and gasoline to their fellows; Marines who cleaned out the nests of rats in Fallujah and elsewhere; the troops that tracked down the mad tyrant in his hole and said "President Bush sends his regards"; the thousands of men and women who have signed on with one branch of service or another after the mission in Iraq began; Guardsmen and women who knew their friends and family needed assistance in the Gulf, yet demanded to stay with their missions in Iraq; Special Operations carrying out the most harrowing of missions.

These men and women heeded and heed the eternal words found in Joshua: "Be strong and of good courage..." We all — American and Iraqi — owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. In lieu of that payment, it is hoped that a humble and grateful salute will do. Thank you, soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen of the United States. The cause of freedom and liberty endures thanks to your noble service.

Matt May is a freelance writer and can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com; He is the proprietor of the blog Matt May.