By Joel C. Rosenberg
During the 2008 campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama declared: “We were told this [war in Iraq] would make us safer and that this would be a model of democracy in the Middle East. Hasn’t turned out that way…. This [Bush] administration’s policy has been a combination of extraordinary naivety — the notion that, you know, we’ll be greeted as liberators, flowers will be thrown at us in Iraq, we’ll be creating a Jeffersonian democracy, that it’s a model.” (see Inside The Revolution, p. 321)Guess what? The war was worth it, the surge worked, and a real democracy is emerging in Iraq, despite what the cynics and naysayers told us.
Please be praying for the people of Iraq this weekend. The country holds national elections for parliament on Sunday, March 7. Nineteen million Iraqis are registered to vote. More than 6,200 candidates are running. The polls open at 7am local time and close at 5pm. Radical Islamic extremists are expected to launch a series of violent attacks in hopes of disrupting the elections.
But as I reported in my book, Inside The Revolution, last year, the pro-democracy Reformers in Iraq have decisively gained the upper hand. Even the mainstream media is beginning to concede the Radicals are losing ground and the Reformers are succeeding. Last week, for example, a Newsweek cover story entitled, ”Victory At Last,” trumpeted “the emergence of a democratic Iraq,” and declared “it most certainly is a watershed event that could come to represent a whole new era in the history of the massively undemocratic Middle East.”
“This election is big. It is simply enormous,” U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill told USA Today. ”If this goes well … and if the government formation goes well, this could usher in a whole new beginning for this country and also U.S. relations with Iraq.”
There is still a long way to go. Mosul (Ninevah) remains a hotbed of sectarian violence. But real progress is being made politically, economically, and spiritually, as well. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have left Islam and come to faith in Jesus Christ in the last seven years since liberation. Bibles are being printed in the country. Churches are being planted by Iraqis, pastored by Iraqis. And as I’ve reported to you before, The Joshua Fund has been helping encourage the Church in Iraq. The Joshua Fund has even helped set up a Christian radio station in northern Iraq that is teaching the Bible and preaching the gospel openly and to great effect. God is moving powerfully in this war-ravaged land. But let’s keep praying and doing all we can to be a blessing to our brothers and sisters there.
U.S. official: Election of 'enormous' importance to Iraq - USA Today
Democracy in Iraq showcased in election - UPI
Iraq's Election: Can It Pull a Country Together? - TIME
Back to Babylon - SpiritAndTruth.org (Andy Woods)
Inside the Revolution - Joel C. Rosenberg (Book)