Monday, December 12, 2005

# Posted 6:33 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

NOT A MAN OF THE YEAR, BUT A PEOPLE OF THE YEAR: Yesterday morning on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, George Will nominated the Iraqi voter to be man of the year. It's a brilliant idea. And a surprising one, coming from a self-avowed realist and critic of nation-building.

However, my suspicion is that no student of the Founding Fathers and admirer of the Constitution as passionate as Will could fail to be inspired by the desire of millions of Iraqis to risk life and limb rather than miss the chance to vote. Of course, the millions who voted in both January and October will have to pull it off one more time in order to earn their award. But I am confident that they can do it.

In response to Will's observation, both Stephanopoulos himself and panelist Martha Raditz of ABC News seconded the nomination of Mother Nature in last week's issue of Time. In light of the tsunami, Katrina and the recent quake in Pakistan, it's a solid choice. And a depressing one.

Yet Mother Nature comes and goes. Her depredations are as old as the day is long. Whereas the courage of the Iraqi people may represent both a turning point in the history of freedom and a monument to the eternal human thirst for liberty.

If you have confidence that something good will come of the Iraqi people's three trips to the polls (and I do), then they deserve your support as collective person of the year. If you believe that this year's elections in Iraq are nothing more than an illusion destined to be washed away by civil war and suicide bombs, then perhaps the people of Iraq deserve to win the award as a consolation prize for their noble disappointment.
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Mother nature sounds like a cop out to me.
Agreed. Since when is mother nature a person? May as well make gravity the person of the year. Or oxygen.

All of the heated-up oxygen given off by Washington and Brussels and the like would make it an unfair fight to nominate that gaseous substance.

That being said, the Iraqi voter definitely deserves the nod. Again today they proved their resilence...this quote from the LA Times shows what the opposited of what the majority in the mainstream media predicted a year ago:
"In Baghdad, Mosul and Basra, in tiny hamlets along river valleys, in the mountainous Kurdish north, in the marshy Shiite south, in the arid Sunni Arab west, voters packed election centers to cast ballots."
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