Tim Blair collects a number of posts and letters from American servicemen and contractors in Iraq on the January 30th elections. Just one example (but click over and read all of them):
The kids were all over the place, playing in the streets while their parents voted. The kids walked with us for about 2 miles while we were talking to the adults. I have never seen anything like it.
People everywhere wanted to talk to us and thank us. This is what it must have been like when the Allies liberated Paris.
Iraqis of all ages wanted to shake our hands and thank us for allowing them to vote. The kids were proud to tell us that their parents voted. Adult after adult wanted to thank us for making this day happen.
These really don’t sound like the kind of people who would be lining up to trade off their new freedoms for a different set of dictators.
This account, as well as many others noted recently, tracks with what I’ve heard myself over the last couple of years, not least from my own brother-in-law, who spent the second year of his first son’s life serving in Iraq. He’ll be on his way back to SWA before much longer–where he’ll miss the first year of his second son’s life (my newest nephew was born on Friday).
In addition to Matt, I know an awful lot of military folks, including one of my office-mates who was just activated for a tour in Iraq. I’ve spent most of my professional life working on various military bases, and I grew up in an Army town. I’ve yet to meet or even hear of one single military member who didn’t think the Iraq war was “worth it,” and the ones who’re the most convinced that we’ve done the right thing are those who’ve served there themselves.
If it was worth it for them, that’s certainly good enough for me. Just in case anybody was interested.