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Thank You America
New York Post ^ | 04/15/03 | Kanan Makiya

Posted on 04/15/2003 7:15:20 PM PDT by Dec31,1999

THANK YOU, AMERICA

By KANAN MAKIYA --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

April 15, 2003 -- BA'ATHISM died in Iraq last week. The sight of the oversized bronze head of Saddam rolling in the dust and being beaten with shoes by exuberant Iraqis is perhaps the most important image of Iraqi politics of the last 50 years. It was the end of the republic of fear. Two Iraqis with whom I was camping out in Washington, D.C., woke me up at 5 a.m. that day so we could watch the images of a free Iraq. Tears rolled down our cheeks uncontrollably.

The greeting we had thought the coalition troops would receive in Basra took place two weeks later than we thought, in Baghdad. Perhaps because Baghdad did not rise up against the dictator in 1991, its spirit had not been broken by unfulfilled American promises the way the spirit of Basra was.

How they must have hurt. At least 10,000 people must have died in Basra alone when the dictator crushed the people's uprising. Many more tens of thousands disappeared into his prisons. No wonder they were cautious, suspicious even, of coalition intentions in 2003.

Freedom is a heady thing. To an Iraqi, it is like being awakened from a 30- year nightmare by a blinding blaze of bright white light. When a young man steals a television set from the Ministry of Education, he thinks he is striking a blow against the Ba'ath Party. He has not yet become aware that he is in fact stealing it from a building that now belongs to him and is about to start serving his needs, and not those of his tormentors.

In between the one state of mind and the other lies the beginning of a responsible and responsive government - law and order as a friend, not a tormentor.

To that end, the Free Iraqi Forces being assembled by the Iraqi National Congress in southern Iraq are the nucleus of a new Iraqi police force. It is a force that needs to grow, quickly, from its current strength of 700 or so men, with the help of the coalition forces.

I shudder at the thought of Americans and Britons policing Iraqi cities. That task must be taken up by Iraqis. Let us make the mistakes that will inevitably occur. We need U.S. and British troops to remain draped in the mantle of liberation that they wore so successful- ly the day the statues of Saddam Hussein came crash- ing down all over Iraq.

It was also a special day for the people of the United States. Their army triumphed. It fought a just war more or less alone and in spite of opposition from countries that put commercial and other interests before the destruction of tyranny. We will remember those who stood by our side.

The road ahead is, no doubt, very difficult. And now the burden shifts onto our shoulders, the shoulders of Iraqis inside and outside of Iraq. We thank you, people of the great United States, for the gift that you have bestowed on us. I cannot promise that we will succeed in making good of it. But I do promise that we will try very hard.

Kanan Makiya is a leading Iraqi intellectual dissident and the author of "The Republic of Fear." He can be reached via benadorassociates.com.


TOPICS: Announcements; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: america; thankyou; thankyouamerica
The New York Post is now the best source of Conservative news in the world, believe it or not. Examine its well written opinion section, if you please.
1 posted on 04/15/2003 7:15:20 PM PDT by Dec31,1999
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2 posted on 04/15/2003 7:15:59 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Dec31,1999
"We are in control. They are in a state of hysteria. Losers, they think that by killing civilians and trying to distort the feelings of the people they will win. I think they will not win, those bastards."
Mohammed Saeed Sahhaf

3 posted on 04/15/2003 7:17:07 PM PDT by COURAGE
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To: Dec31,1999
I shudder at the thought of Americans and Britons policing Iraqi cities. That task must be taken up by Iraqis. Let us make the mistakes that will inevitably occur. We need U.S. and British troops to remain draped in the mantle of liberation that they wore so successfully the day the statues of Saddam Hussein came crashing down all over Iraq.

The point is well expressed.

4 posted on 04/15/2003 7:21:12 PM PDT by solzhenitsyn ("Live Not By Lies")
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To: COURAGE
Whatever happened to Bagdad Bob? Poor bastard probably never saw the light of day.

I'm glad to report that our foreign policy has finally been steered toward freeing the world of illegitimate tyrranical dictators.

Free Iraq! Who's next?

5 posted on 04/15/2003 7:24:03 PM PDT by Dec31,1999 (You show me a country that doesn't have clear title to property, and I'll show you a poor country!)
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To: solzhenitsyn
It is of the utmost importance that Iraq be truly liberated. The people must be free to:

Leave the counry at wish.

Own property.

Choose an occupation.

Choose their religion.

Have free speech.

Etc.

Let's make the ten original amendments of the COTUS be the force of Law in Iraq.

6 posted on 04/15/2003 7:32:22 PM PDT by Dec31,1999 (You show me a country that doesn't have clear title to property, and I'll show you a poor country!)
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To: Dec31,1999
Dear Kanan Makiya,

Earn it.

Sincerly,
USA

7 posted on 04/15/2003 7:33:44 PM PDT by ChadGore (Freedom is as natural as a drawn breath.)
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To: Dec31,1999
"No I am not scared, and neither should you be!"
Mohammed Saeed Sahhaf

8 posted on 04/15/2003 7:37:23 PM PDT by COURAGE
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To: Dec31,1999
The New York Post is now the best source of Conservative news in the world, believe it or not. Examine its well written opinion section, if you please.

The Op-ed pages are fine. the rest is written on a Fifth Grade level.
The NY Sun is a much better paper, even if it is slightly more elitist. I believe that the WSJ/ and Investor's Business Daily have very well written Op-ed pages.
Outside of NYC, I would suggest Washington Times.
9 posted on 04/15/2003 8:59:05 PM PDT by rmlew ("Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.")
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