Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Martyr for Freedom

I've been asked in my comment section in the past weeks about how I would feel if I were in Iraq being bombed. Of course this is a trolling statement from persons who do not hold a fundamental conviction in fighting for freedom or individual human rights, however, it does provide a good platform for thought.

Thankfully I live in a time of history where my country has already fought for her independence, but we should all have reflection on what we would've done ourselves had we lived during the American Revolutionary Days. If I would've been alive back then, I believe my actions and thoughts would've been with the fight for freedom and against oppression. Thousands of Americans have paid the ultimate price for our present day freedoms and for something better for our children. I believe that capacity exists in most of us. As we've witnessed in the current wave of protests for democracy in the middle east, it is an innate human need to want these things and to stand up for them.

On January 30th, 8 million Iraqis did what many of us knew to be true to the human spirit. I must admit, the sight of parents bringing their small children to vote with them was remarkable. If I were an Iraqi at that moment, I know I would've voted, but not so sure on bringing my children with me. What bravery!!

Today, there is this story from the Seattle Times about a young man who did not have to go to Iraq and fight for his homeland but he chose to - and died doing it.
Gamal's experiences in his ancestral land had changed his political views completely. He witnessed the results of Saddam's brutality firsthand and became convinced that the United States had been right to liberate Iraq. Whereas America wanted Iraq to be free, Gamal thought that Germany, France and Russia wanted status quo ante bellum to maintain their economic interests in Saddam's regime.

After the immense success of the recent Iraqi election, Gamal's family, their friends and associates celebrated with a party, not because they had done especially well in the election, but simply because they finally had a real voice in shaping the future of their country. Despite continuing terrorist attacks against Gamal's family, it was without doubt a jubilant occasion.

Days before the election, when I asked Mithal al-Alusi about the dangers to his family, Gamal answered instead, "It is true that we are in danger, but if this is the price for democracy and peace, it is a very low price."

Only days after the election, Gamal and his family paid that price, and it was not "low."

While traveling by car in Baghdad, their vehicle was ambushed by terrorist gunmen. Mithal al-Alusi survived the attack, but Gamal died along with his older brother Ayman and a bodyguard, all from gunshot wounds. He was only 22.
Now read what the surviving father had to say:
Today, as they mourn the deaths of their sons, Mithal al-Alusi and what is left of his family continue their work to transform Iraq into a nation of laws. Terrorists persist on attacking, but Mithal and his family remain resolute.

In an interview with Radio Free Iraq, he said, "My children, three people — one of my bodyguards and two of my children — died as heroes, no differently from other people who find their heroic deaths. But we will not, by God, hand Iraq over to murderers and terrorists."

So to all of my anti-war trolls, I would pray that you do believe there are some ideals worth fighting and dying for because these very things transcend us! It is always heartening to read about people who understand that completely. May God bless them all for their admirable courage and fighting the good fight!