Cold and Hot
Here in central Virginia, the snow has stopped falling, and you can see the Blue Ridge through the low-lying clouds in a vista that even aesthetically-challenged people like me can understand as one of God's regularly scheduled masterpieces.
Halfway across the world, in Iraq, the polls will soon be open for that nation's blessed and cursed first democratic elections.
The Iraqi insurgents have done their worst to intimidate voters from participating.
The Bush administration, dating back to its negligent preparations for winning the war and the peace, has done little to make this day the triumph of democracy it has so often predicted.
The sacrifices made by all the people of Iraq, especially the brave souls willing to run for office, and by the U.S. and British troops who have provided what little security the country currently enjoys, will soon be redeemed or repeated. Whatever you think about the original decision to intervene militarily in Iraq, you have to hope that these elections help move the country away from the brink, away from civil war, and away from the Hobbesian choice between military tyranny and sectarian theocracy.
As Howard Dean, one of the most resolute opponents of the decision to invade Iraq, often said: now that we are there, we cannot afford to lose and abandon Iraq to chaos. Within hours, the people of Iraq will have a unique chance to begin the reconstruction of their country, and to show us the door. If I can make it over the snowy mountains to my tiny church tomorrow morning, I will join the Prayers of the People to ask the Almighty for just that result.