The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Postcards From Iraq

A Good Day for the NYTimes:

Tom Friedman has the best day in living memory. The highlight:

Readers regularly ask me when I will throw in the towel on Iraq. I will be guided by the U.S. Army and Marine grunts on the ground. They see Iraq close up. Most of those you talk to are so uncynical - so convinced that we are doing good and doing right, even though they too are unsure it will work. When a majority of those grunts tell us that they are no longer willing to risk their lives to go out and fix the sewers in Sadr City or teach democracy at a local school, then you can stick a fork in this one. But so far, we ain't there yet. The troops are still pretty positive.

So let's thank God for what's in our drinking water, hope that maybe some of it washes over Iraq, and pay attention to the grunts. They'll tell us if it's time to go or stay.
There's an insight for the ages. But here's a better one, an insight ad astra:
We are trying to host the first attempt in the modern Arab world for the people of an Arab country to, on their own, forge a social contract with one another. Despite all the mistakes made, that is an incredibly noble thing.
That's the finest single thing I've seen written about the war in the NY Times. And, it is only the half of the truth.

The full truth is this: faced with extraordinary danger, and an enemy that was pledged to our destruction, the United States has chosen not to destroy him but to embrace him. We are spilling the blood of our own sons, not to raze the enemy that might destroy us; but, instead, to raise him. Out of poverty, out of tyranny, out of misery, and into hope.

We are faced every day by people who point to the problems and the difficulties that remain. The fact that those difficulties exist does not change the fact that the human spirit is greater than they. The enemy has power, power to destroy and to ruin, to slaughter and to oppress. Yet we have the greater power, which is to hope.

We have embarked upon a project like Shelley's Prometheus:
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To Love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates.
Faith is not a fool's project. The hopeless looks at the difficulty, and sees the power of the cruel, and wearies at the thought.

The faithful man walks in the morning of the world. Everything can be, and might be, through hope and sacrifice.

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