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10/02/2004

 

6 days til the Afghan Elections


Democracy is a fine thing. Ten-million Afghans have registered to vote in the country’s first ever democratic election. Dr. Ivan Molloy of a Canadian university declares: “History shows that democracy cannot be imposed on foreign cultures where no democratic tradition has pre-existed.” Columnist George Will decrees: “[N]ot every society has the prerequisites -- of institutions (political parties, media) and manners (civility, acceptance of pluralism) -- of a free society.”

So where does this leave us? In Afghanistan, millions of people are about to risk becoming so many victims of the mutants because they want to decide who’s in charge. Governments anywhere can be “of the people.” Millions of people in Iraq will defy the mutants in January, God willing, and elect the assembly which will govern them and craft their constitution.

Freedom is heady stuff. History teaches that people change. History teaches that what was valid concerning human behavior in the past in need not be the same presently. When shown a picture, a people can aspire to its beauty. The painter is the will of those people.

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