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Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Next steps.

The "fall of Baghdad" is of course good news. The war isn't over, but we've reached an important turning point. And, my fellow liberals, the "pro-peace" movement needs to be refocused. A U.S. pull-out anytime in the immediate future would result in an unjust "peace," to put it euphemistically. (We'd be leaving Iraq in total chaos.) We need to put intense political pressure on our government to provide the basic security and humanitarian assistance the country needs — and we need to demand that our country provide this help in the most responsible manner possible. Winning the battle is not the same thing as winning the war, and it is in everyone's interest — yours, mine, and the people of Iraq — that we leave them with something better than Saddam Hussein's brutal regime and the world's crippling sanctions.

Meanwhile, Thomas L. Friedman writes from southern Iraq:

We are so caught up with our own story of "America's liberation of Iraq," and the Arab TV networks are so caught up with their own story of "America's occupation of Iraq," that everyone seems to have lost sight of the real lives of Iraqis.
"We are lost," said Zakiya Jassim, a hospital maintenance worker. "The situation is getting worse. I don't care about Saddam. He is far away. I want my country to be normal."
America broke Iraq; now America owns Iraq, and it owns the primary responsibility for normalizing it. If the water doesn't flow, if the food doesn't arrive, if the rains don't come and if the sun doesn't shine, it's now America's fault. We'd better get used to it, we'd better make things right, we'd better do it soon, and we'd better get all the help we can get.

It's going to be hard enough to put Iraq back together. Let's see how well we can do it before we try the road to Damascus.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 9 April 2003 at 1:29 PM

Previous: Iraq's divided Christians.
Next: Give police a chance.

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