Wednesday, October 15, 2008

“They want us to leave, and they want us to stay — and they can’t have both.”

Hat Tip to The-Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake.

Jay Nordlinger of NR has been in Iraq, blogging about what he sees there.
A few snippets:
As I listen to this briefing, some thoughts occur to me — thoughts of a general nature. We are doing so very much. Have foreigners ever done so much for a country? The Iraqis are lucky to be looked after in this way. Many other countries would kill for it. I think of the title of one of Fouad Ajami’s books: “The Foreigner’s Gift.” That’s putting it mildly. Of course, “we broke it, we have to fix it,” right? The country was broken — tyrannized and aggressive — before. We are changing it.
In talking to a major in Baghdad:
I ask what, for me, is a standard question: How do Iraqis feel about our presence — the presence of the coalition? She gives what is certainly the right answer: “They want us to leave, and they want us to stay — and they can’t have both.” They want us to leave, because it’s their country. But they want us to stay, because of what might ensue if we left.
And finally this:
May I make a general observation? I think it many times, during this trip: If the American taxpayer saw things in action over here, he’d be very pleased — pleased that his money was being well spent.

You should read the whole journal, and Evan at T-B-P-R-S has lined it up for you.

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