Friday, December 24, 2004

NYT Columnist Thomas Friedman Points Out Iraqi Stakes

It is so uncommon in these grim days in Iraq that anyone in the mainline press points out eloquently the value in what the U.S. is doing, and what the stakes are, that Thomas Friedman's column Dec. 23 (www.nytimes.com) in the New York Times is especially worth noting.

"This is a war between some people in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world who -- for the first time ever in their region -- are trying to organize an election to choose their own leaders and write their own constitution versus all the forces arrayed against them," Friedman writes.

And who are those forces? Friedman quotes Michael Mandelbaum of Johns Hopkins as "so rightfully (pointing) out to me, 'These so-called insurgents in Iraq are the real fascists, the real colonialists, the real imperialists of our age.' They are a tiny minority who want to rule Iraq by force and rip off its oil wealth for themselves. It's time we called them by their real names."

If the Pulitzer Prize-winning Friedman is right, and I believe he is, then there is every reason to root for and admire our troops who are there doing their best in what is clearly a very difficult engagement.


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