GAMES - Iraq Has Lan'D

A picture can speak a thousand words....

And these pictures from a recent LAN party in Iraq brings more smiles to my face than reading a thousand words about a Democratic Iraq...

Be sure to check out the other pics and the originating blog, Healing Iraq. I may not have supported the Bush Administration's march to war, but reading this blog does give me a little hope for the future. (Even though Baghad Burning usually makes me sad again.) Iraq was already home to video games and LANs, and I'm not saying that America bombed Iraq so they could play Counter Strike. They could do that when Saddam was in power.

No, I look at these pictures and I feel a sense of potential power and progress that I didn't feel two years ago (in regards to the people of Iraq). Sure, some people in Iraq could sit and play Quake last year. But now they can sit and play Quake AND they can write political messages to each other without the fear of being dragged into the street and decapitated in front of their family.

The next couple years will be tough for Iraq, but let's be honest... With the Hussein family in power, the next couple years were going to be difficult for Iraq's citizens anyway. Hell, Uday imprisoned, tortured, and murdered members of their Olympic teams. I may not support the road that we took to get into Baghdad, but after the dust settles, I think we'll all be glad that the road is there.

At this time last year, I didn't really have the option to play online video games with Iraq's citizens. Now, if I had the desire to take a vacation and tour Iraq's LAN bars, I could do it and feel relatively safe. Even if you don't like video games, you can draw these type of parallels in the world of journalism, academia, sports, and politics. One of the main barriers between our culture and their cultures has been abolished, and we both have the freedom to explore and experience the virtues of our civilizations. It's a big deal that expands beyond video games, and I can only hope that this expansion of personal freedom does continue throughout not only the middle east, but the entire world.

As a child, this promotion of personal freedom, coupled with the abolition of human rights violations, was the foundation of my liberal education. Give people freedom and build a structured society that provides a high standard of living and a quality education. Even if our blueprint is shit (or doesn't even exist), I definitely think that the people of Iraq have a better shot at democracy now than at any other moment in the last thirty years. I know that liberals (including myself) just can't stand Bush, but I am upset that their hatred towards Bush has seemingly sucked out all of the joy of seeing the downfall of one of the 20th Century's most vile human rights violators. So what if it didn't make us any safer? Seeing this piece of shit held accountable for his crimes is the right thing for humanity. Period.

Oh, and it, uh, makes the world safer for all video game players! (Just thought my conclusion should at least try to relate to the beginning of the post.)


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