Thursday, February 03, 2005

State of the Union

Last night I witnessed a historic and poignant moment. Ironically, it had nothing to do with what President Bush said in his State of the Union address. For about 53 minutes, President Bush spoke about social security (which is pretty good in Canada by the way), and of course, Iraq and freedom.

The elections last Sunday proved a resounding success. Whether it's a sign of things to come is another topic for debate. Will other nations follow in the pursuit of democracy and peace? We can only hope so. Four years ago, when the two towers fell, it appeared as if the apocalypse was about the come. War, fear, and hatred was running rampant. It's perhaps true what they say in that the worst of times must be conquered before you can relish in the best of times.

At about 9:45 pm, something remarkable happened. Sitting next to the First Lady, was an Iraqi woman, barely able to contain her tears when she was introduced by the President. With thunderous applause surrounding her, she stood from her and flashed with her hands several times a "V" for Victory. The Victory was the luxury afforded to her for the first time in several decades of freely voting in an Iraqi election, unimpaired by Saddam Hussein's dictatorial regime. Is this what the united armies of the world have fought and died so bravely for? Not quite.

Moments later, President Bush introduced the parents of a young solider who perished in Iraq, defending freedom and the security of the United States. They were sitting behind the First Lady. What will forever be entrenched in our minds was that the Iraqi women turned around to face the mother of the fallen solider and embraced her with passion and graciousness. The moment was poignant and heart-warming. One woman's son died so that another could live free.

Wars in the 21st century will not be about conquering new empires or for glory. They will be for the preservation and proliferation of peace, freedom, and friendship. Love thy neighbour, and co-exist. It's beginning to happen in Iraq. It's beginning to happen in Israel and Palestine.

What terrorism on Sept 11, 2001 accomplished was to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity. That is the absolute way to defeat terrorism. Not with mortar shells and bullets, but by fostering amity and putting an end to senselss bloodshed.