Many thanks to Amy Welborn of Open Book for spotting this wonderful piece.

Singing a New Song in Iraq

My prayers were answered. The Iraqi people, including members of the Sunni minority, risked their lives to vote in the weekend's referendum. It appears that the constitution has been accepted.

Only if you believe the biased mainstream media do you think we are losing in Iraq. Here is what Stephen Schwartz, author of "The Two Faces of Islam," writes about this most recent sign of success in Iraq:

"We won again! For a second time, the Iraqi people proved the Western mainstream media, Islamist radicals, self-righteous and nihilistic war protestors, disaffected Democrats, and neo-isolationists wrong: the referendum on the new constitution was successful. The Sunni minority participated in the polling and those among them voting 'no' were swamped by the positive outcome.

"Iraq will have its new constitution. The transforming intervention led by President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair will succeed. The global sweep of bourgeois revolution will continue, centering on Iraq's neighbors: monarchical Saudi Arabia, statist Syria, and theocratic Iran.

"But how long will the Western media get the post-9/11 story wrong before they understand that they, the MSM, are a major part of the problem?

"[M]oderate Sunni Muslims who tried to tell Western media and government the facts about the probable outcome in the Iraqi constitutional election were ignored. Instead, numerous MSM reporters applied the practice they have pursued since the Sandinista era in Nicaragua: they found radicals and marginal, anonymous grumblers, and presented their clichés as the voice of all Iraqi Sunnis."

A good piece in the American Spectator commented on the obviously uncomfortable media coverage of the vote:

"Watching the vote progress in Iraq throughout the day on Saturday, one was left with the unfortunate impression that there would have been a lot less squirming in the anchor chairs if there had been mass bloodshed in the streets of Baghdad rather than a marked decrease in violence since the last election or if five percent of Sunnis had come out to vote instead of 65 percent.

"For example, during CNN's coverage of the election Christiane Amanpour got off on a riff about a Sunni she had met who was opposed to the new constitution.

"'Never before did we talk about Sunni, Shia, Kurd,' Amanpour directly quoted the man as saying without referring to a tape or any notes. 'For many, many years, despite our difficulties, despite the oppression under Saddam Hussein, Iraqis never really talked about their ethnic differences. They were Iraqis first and foremost.'

"To hear Amanpour relay it, during Operation Anfal when Iraq was bombarding Kurd villages with chemical weapons and hauling untold thousands of men, women, and children off to mass graves, the Kurds must have been thinking, 'Well, at least we are all Iraqis. At least, God forbid, our nation has not lost its unity or is fragmented.'"

From the coverage of the referendum, here is a description of the people the high-minded folks in the peace movement would like to abandon:

"A security ban on private vehicles, invoked to keep would-be bombers from reaching targets, had a blissful side effect: The boys and girls of Baghdad took back the streets for a day.

"'Do you want us to tell you something?' asked Tamara Majeed, 11, when a visitor interrupted her friends as they sketched a chalk outline for tuki -- a form of hopscotch -- in the middle of a potholed street in Sadr City, a Shiite Muslim district of 2 million.

"Barely waiting for an answer, the group of schoolgirls in pigtails, bows and scarves burst into song.

"'Let your vote revolt,' their high voices sang in a made-for-the-day anthem learned recently in school. The song continued, referring to the former ruling party of Saddam Hussein: 'Don't let us down -- don't make me return to the Baathist grave.'"

As Lucianne noted, you had to get to wade through the paper to page A 22 to read this. The media does not want us to succeed in Iraq, though from time to time a scene like this intrudes into their bleak, anti-war reporting.

One Last Question: Are You in Favor of Sin?

While getting my hair done last week, I came across an article on evaluating gay men for the priesthood that I cannot find online. There was a sidebar about a psychologist who interviewed the men. Loose Canon is not one of those right wingers who doesn't approve of shrinks, but I kept thinking that the real evaluation is a simple question: Do you regard engaging in homosexual activity as a sin? If the answer is no, then the man is not suitable for the priesthood. As for going to a gay pride march, that should be a disqualification (in my opinion) because it implies support for engaging in activity that the Church teaches is sinful. Would you ordain a man who participated in the Happy Sinning Parade?

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