Tuesday, February 01, 2005

"Maybe a little red ink got in my blue Democratic veins"

Roger L. Simon posts two letters from today's New York Times:

To the Editor:

Re "Defying Threats, Millions of Iraqis Flock to Polls" (front page, Jan. 31):

I admit that I have been disappointed with the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq, and I did not support the initial reasoning behind the invasion. But the image of Iraqis holding up their ink-stained fingers while dancing around polling stations is one that will be burned into world history in a way comparable to the images of the Berlin Wall falling and students facing tanks at Tiananmen Square.

Not only Iraqis should be proud of this moment, in which they defied the cowardly threats of terrorists. So, too, should freedom-loving people around the world - especially the brave men and women of the allied armed forces. These troops assured that Iraqis could vote in a democratic election for the first time in generations.

Adam M. Van Ho
Hudson, Ohio, Jan. 31, 2005

To the Editor:

The ink-stained finger of an Iraqi woman pointing up to the heavens (front page, Jan. 31) is the symbol of something better. For the first time, ink has replaced blood as democracy replaced tyranny. Ink is the new color of democratic revolution.

The ink pouring forth is something that must paint the entire Middle East. In this new year, we have had two real elections in the Middle East. Both unprecedented for the region, they both signal a brighter future.

Democracy has made a major bridgehead in the Middle East. It is tenuous and fragile, but it is a start. Yet this force is sustained by hope and ink. I hate to admit it, but for the first time, I'm glad George W. Bush is president. Maybe a little red ink got in my blue Democratic veins.

Eric Hayes
Houston, Jan. 31, 2005

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