Monday, September 27, 2004

"Post-Totalitarian Stress Disorder"

Chrenkoff has an excellent round-up of good news from Iraq in the OpinionJournal. After listing some of positive developments happening in Iraq he notes what he calls “Post Totalitarian Stress Disorder”:

For those who've lived all their lives in freedom, it is a difficult condition to understand. We take so many things for granted--from comedians being able to joke about the president, to the assumption that the next government employee we encounter will not be expecting a bribe from us--that we are ill equipped to comprehend what life under a totalitarian system is like, or what mental and spiritual legacy its victims have to labor under long after the statues of the dictator are pulled down.
He hits the nail on the head. Totalitarian life has no doubt taken a physical and spiritual toll on the populace. As the younger generation comes of age we will see a radical redefinition of life in the Middle East. One of the stories that Chrenkoff notes, an article from the BBC, contains this quote from Essraa, an 18 year old Iraqi female:

The most important development to come out of the war was freedom. We were denied it, especially freedom of thought. This to me is very important.

Chrenkoff also links to an article about the introduction of baseball to young Iraqis, and comments:

These small steps forward might not mean much in themselves but cumulatively they point towards a better future. Every Iraqi child who dreams of becoming a sports star is one fewer child who dreams of becoming a "martyr" or a holy warrior. Every group, club or association that springs up across the country helps teach Iraqi people the habits of trust and cooperation, qualities bind together every successful democratic society.

As society in Iraq is changed into one of liberal democracy, terror will find no sanctuary and Islamofascist rhetoric no welcome ear. Insofar as a “war on terror” can be won, this is how to do it.


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