Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A different kind of martyr

An article in today's edition of The New York Times describes the courage displayed by ordinary Iraqis when they went to the polling places on Sunday to cast their votes:

The victims of election day violence are being hailed by many Iraqis as the latest shuhada, or martyrs, in a nearly two-year insurgency that has claimed the lives of thousands. They were policemen who tried to stop suicide bombers from entering polling centers, children who walked with elderly parents to cast votes, or - in the case of Mr. Yacoubi - a simple fishmonger who, after voting, took tea from his house to electoral workers at the school.

At those polling centers wracked by explosions, the survivors refused to go home, steadfastly waiting to cast their votes as policemen swept away bits of flesh.

Ordinary citizens, with few weapons and no military training to mold them into a fighting force, may find it difficult if not impossible to defeat terrorists by force of arms.

But ordinary citizens can defeat the terrorists by doing as the Iraqis found the courage to do: Defy the terrorists and never surrender -- never.


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