Of late, I have heard a cacophony of voices which question the intrinsic desire of the human spirit. They cynically deride our attempt to bring democracy to Iraq & the Middle East, at large. Their central sneering question/accusation is whether we are going to force democracy on another culture, even if that requires using a boot on the neck to bring freedom. Well, I am here to say that, YES, if we must use the boot, we shall! Going back into recent history, I find it impossible to find a people who have rejected freedom & democracy. All through this past hundred years, we have been in an epic polemic with tyranny, whether it be fascism, Nazism, communism, or, now, terrorism- not to mention liberalism. All of the "isms" of the past hundred or so years have brought humanity, in all corners of the earth, nothing but rape, torture, pain, political & economic oppression, summary executions, and outright genocide. One could point to the South Vietnamese not truly being on our side, thus debunking my theory. Well, the truth is that they had been oppressed, in some direct or indirect form or other, by China, the Soviet Union, North Vietnam, & French colonialism. They no doubt thought & believed that we, too, were simply fighting for the spoils of their nation and to bring them into OUR empire....though we never had one. THIS is where liberals get their "winning the hearts & minds" diatribe. Perhaps if the LMM, college campuses, & the military industrial complex had been on the side of freedom, Vietnam might be free, today. Another country one might dispute would be China. Even with the uprising- & crushing thereof- of Tiananmen Square rebellion, it seems that there has never been much in the way of a people's protest, when set against the landscape of Mao's brutal & barbaric oppression, such as his "cultural revolution." Though it would be easy to explain this by the stereotype concerning the Asian culture's disdain for individualism, thus making the Chinese a more pacified people, I believe it is more easily explained by China's isolationist nature, both spiritually AND geographically. When communism worked its filthy way through the pores of the Great Wall, it morphed into something less Marxist and more Chinese. Unlike the Soviet Union, the true, pure- and ultimately failed- experiment in Marxist communism, China saw it as merely an opportunity to legitimize its future brutality. Whereas the Soviet Union used oppression as a means to an end, communism, China used COMMUNISM as a whore, as a means to their own endgame: Isolation, brutality, & order. If either of these countries had been "won" or truly fought, the people would've, no doubt, chosen freedom. All one has to do is look at the now-famous nighttime satellite photo of North Korea vs. South Korea to see what tyranny can bring to a nation, what freedom can bring, conversely. All one has to do is think about the simplest & most salient proof of this battle of wills & ideologies: Tyrannical regimes must build walls & fences, armed by guards, to keep their people in bondage; we, on the other hand, must build fences to keep people OUT. So, now we are hearing the common refrain from liberals: "Are arabs even CAPABLE of being free? Are Iraqis, after being broken & beaten for so long by Saddam, ready to take control of their own destinies? Who are WE to force our values on another culture?" And most disturbingly, "Are we prepared to force democracy on Iraq, even if a boot is needed?" We must answer the cowardly cries with a resounding "Yes, we are!" Peace rarely comes without a preceding war, and freedom NEVER comes without loss, blood, & pain. Though I believe the anecdotal evidence which shows that the Iraqi people yearn for freedom & democracy, we need to be prepared to force it upon them, for our own good AND theirs. If some children are very sick and must require nasty tasting medicine & painful shots, you are REQUIRED by the laws of compassion & concern to give it to them. Even if you must drag them kicking & screaming, they will, upon healing & feeling better, thank you. They will, for the rest of their lives, thank you for healing them and giving them the opportunity to live out their lives, their dreams, their full potentials. When communism started to fall, it fell quickly. Now, Castro, Kim Jong Il, & a few other small-time thugs are simply wasting away, clawing the walls of history, attempting not to be sucked onto that great ash heap. Likewise, the Taliban is gone & Afghanistan is free; Iraq is free; Libya, due to President Bush's devout belief in "peace through strength," has fallen in line, and now we await for the domino of democracy to knock down or significantly transform other oppressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, & Syria. Just as President Reagan was justified by the complete destruction of the Evil Empire and the permanent discrediting of communism, I know that President Bush will be justified by history, if not the history "books." He will be seen as a bold visionary, a visionary who refused to believe that the natural state of the human spirit is a thirst for blood & oppression. He will be vindicated as the man who believed that ALL people wish to be free, wish to live, not merely exist. Through the ages, America has fought against the forces of darkness ALL around the globe, making us cringe at the prospect of what the world would look like without us. I am not saying that it is going to be an easy task for either us or the Iraqi people, but I refuse to believe that they, when given the final choice, will choose a future rife with oppression & tyranny. That said, let's not fool ourselves. As we have seen after freeing Russia, Germany, France & many other nations from the grips of tyranny, history points to the fact that Iraq, several years down the road, might not be grateful........but they will be free. See, the intrinsic nature of the human spirit is to be free. The true core of the human spirit is to thrive & reach for a better tomorrow. The innate center of our human consciousness is the desire to freely roam through the many possibilities & futures, ones which only freedom & democracy provide. The soul cannot soar when stifled by the shackles of sadism, and this is why we must persevere in bringing Iraq into the light of freedom & democracy. America's boot wll not be seen as the tyrannical boot of oppression. No, it will be seen as the boot that freed a people.