In honor of Iraq, Republicans filed into the Capitol for President Bush?s State of the Union address with fingers dipped in blue ink. Not only had the Iraqi elections been a success, but also President Bush?s second term agenda has been touted as visionary and his inaugural address as historic. In his inaugural address, George W. Bush called for the worldwide spread of democracy.In his State of the Union speech, the President outlined plans to reform social security, cut the deficit, reform medical liability, reform health care and continue to improve his education policies, just to name a few. The vision of this President is all encompassing. He is taking unresolved issues from at least the past six presidents and conquering them one by one.
Risking their lives, millions of Iraqis lined up to vote all over their country. Just like in Afghanistan, Iraqi citizens called for democracy loud and clear. I have no doubt in my mind that Iraq will push forward, with America?s continued assistance, to become an established democratic state.
My hope is that Iraq?s infrastructure and economy will expand like other nations that transitioned from dictatorships to democracies. This could be the “Iraq Economic Miracle,” similar to Germany and Japan. Both nations had been ruled under tyranny until liberated in World War II, and then flourished as democracies. Now Germany and Japan are huge global economic successes, second only to the United States.
With the success of the elections in Iraq and Afghanistan behind him, President Bush has already begun his mission to spread democracy throughout the world. Many of Bush?s predecessors had attempted this veryfeat, especially throughout the Cold War, when fear of communist expansion was rampant. Presidents Reagan and George Bush, Sr., saw their success marked by the fall of the Soviet Union.
However, no President has ever taken such a candid, nonetheless momentous approach to promoting freedom at large. President George W. Bush is promoting freedom and liberty, period. It?s not simply about communism, oil, nuclear weapons or nasty diplomatic relations.
No, President Bush is calling for free and fair democracy and all that comes with it. He wants the whole package. No one can accuse this President of dreaming small.
Rick Loughery is a junior majoring in political science.