Iraqis Don’t Give Up; Why Should We?

These two headlines from today’s papers say a lot about what is going on in Iraq: “Rebels Attack; Int’l Groups Bolt Baghdad”; and “Iraqi Police Stay on Job Despite Attacks.” From the latter story:
“‘I am not afraid of these people. This is our country. If we don’t defend it, who will?’ Sgt. Akeel Muteb said as he was pinned with the Iraqi equivalent of a Purple Heart. Muteb, who has a white bandage over his left eye and shrapnel lodged in his back, survived an Oct. 9 suicide car bombing on a police station in Sadr City, a Shiite neighborhood, that killed three officers and five other civilians.
“‘Even if it’s dangerous, I will keep doing my job. It’s my duty to serve the country,’ Muteb said.”
No country has ever been free whose citizens were unwilling to fight for freedom. If Iraq is to be a free country, it is up to its people to make it so. Whether this will happen is still an open question, but there is no particular reason for pessimism. The whole Iraq operation was predicated on a faith that the principles of the Declaration of Independence are universal–that all people, everywhere, should be free and, given the choice, will choose freedom. Nothing that has happened in recent months negates that faith.
It is clear, however, that the only help for freedom-loving Iraqis will come from the U.S. and whatever allies are willing to put troops on the ground there. The U.N. and its backers (including the mainstream of the Democratic Party) have consistently demanded a larger role for that organization, but apparently the U.N.’s role is to be played from a distance. Pathetic.

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