September 29, 2004
Everyone is worried about the outcome in Iraq and it will be a major issue in Thursday's first debate between President Bush and Senator Kerry.
New York Times columnist David Brooks reminds us that democracy takes time.
He recalls El Salvador in 1982.
The country was in the midst of civil war.
An insurgent army controlled one-third of the nation's territory.
Just before the election on March 29, 1982, insurgents stepped up their terror campaign.
Voters turned out by the hundreds of thousands, defying the threats of violence.
Their ballots were stronger than the insurgent's bullets and bombs.
Brooks notes conditions weren't much better in 1984. Insurgents tried again to stop the election, but they failed.
The insurgents grew weaker.
Elections are scheduled in Afghanistan October 9 and in Iraq in January.
If they go well, the terrorists will be put on the defensive and made to look - not as champions of the people - but oppressors.
Let's pray it will break out in Afghanistan and Iraq, as it has in El Salvador.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.