They called it Operation Iraqi Freedom and in April 2003 it was all but over.
By any and all accounts, it was a complete and total ass-kicking. The vaunted Iraqi Republican Guard was obliterated in less than a month by the shock and awe of the US military.
The streets of Bagdad were flooded with ecstatic Iraqis celebrating the American’s triumphant march on the capital city. Marines poured into the city and were greeted like heroes. In an almost perfect metaphor, a giant statue of Sadaam was pulled to the ground, the impact serving as an exclamation point to mark the end of the war.
What was happening was clear to anyone watching. The Iraqis were embracing freedom. They saw all the potential of liberty and a free society and were running with open arms toward independence.
Eleven years later the privilege of hindsight tells us, what we thought we saw was all a lie. Our interpretation of their reaction was just plain wrong. These people weren’t fired up about what they got; they were pumped about what they’d escaped. A tough lesson we eventually learned on the backs of many lost lives.
Fast forward to 2014, and I’d warn you that the US is about to have our own Sadaam statue moment.
If you believe virtually any poll out there, Republicans are about to win and win big. They’ll take control of the Senate, increase their control of the House, and pick up many governor chairs. Tune in to election coverage on Tuesday and you’ll see a lot of white men giving speeches to throngs of crazed supporters in cramped convention rooms filled with campaign signs and streamers. They’ll be flanked by supportive wives and disinterested children, and they’ll all be enthusiastically telling you how everything is going to get better.
They’ll also be lying.
The truth is that while the names and parties on the ballot may change, nothing else ever does. Any victory gained on Tuesday will be just as hollow as the one we gained in Baghdad. The sooner we all realize that politicians will never have our answers, the sooner we can solve them ourselves. The truth is that the best we can hope for is that they stay out of our way while we do it.
America doesn’t need a change in the political sphere, we need a spiritual renewal. Such a renewal won’t be led by government; it can only be led family by family. Hard work, service to others, and liberty aren’t political talking points, they are biblical mandates. Your rights don’t come from men, or even the constitution, they come from God.
So if you choose to watch election coverage on Tuesday, I would encourage you to take the results with a giant bag of Morton’s System Saver pellets.
Today’s freshman is tomorrow’s incumbent. We’ll be toppling their statue soon enough.