Every nation has a hero, whether mythical or historic, who symbolically sums up the nation's pride, purpose and personality.
--The United States has its George Washington.
--Numerous countries in South American have Simon Bolivar.
--England has its Winston Churchill (as a contemporary icon).
--Scotland its William Wallace, Robert Bruce and John Knox.
--Every world religion, as well, has its founder and "saints."
But what about the emerging democratic and free nation of Iraq? Who will one day be their George Washington?
Who will they honor with a statue in the town square?
Who will personify their overthrow of Saddam Hussein and their victory over murderous terrorism?
Who will be the lynch-pin who rises above sectarian differences and becomes the leader, respected and trusted by all sides, and who inspires others to rise above their differences and sacrifice for the good of the nation as a whole?
I submit that there is, at the moment, no one who remotely stands in such a place of stature at this critical moment of Iraqi history.
When the textbooks are written, what will they say?
While we stood by, powerless and oppressed, the United States invaded our country and cast off the yoke of the dictatorial tyrant Saddam Hussein and his evil Baathist Party.
After the Americans (assisted by the British in the south) created some semblance of security, rich and educated Iraqis who had lived outside of Iraq for many years were flown back into Iraq by the United States. These men, hand-picked by American military and CIA operatives, soon coalesced to form the nucleus of our emerging government.
While many Iraqi men signed up to serve in our new armed forces and police units, it was the United States who screened them, trained them, paid them and, for a time, actually led them in missions against the insurgent terrorists.
While many Iraqi civilians and police officers were killed in terrorist attacks and others killed in crossfire between American troops and Al Qaeda operatives, it was the American soldiers who bore the heaviest burden to secure our freedom.