Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister of Iraq, has an editorial that merits consideration:
War being what it is, the images of Iraq that come America’s way are of car bombs and daily explosions. Missing from the coverage are the great, subtle changes our country is undergoing, the birth of new national ideas and values which will in the end impose themselves despite the death and destruction that the terrorists have been hell-bent on inflicting on us. Those who endured the brutality of the former regime, those who saw the outside world avert its gaze from their troubles, know the magnitude of the change that has come to Iraq. A fundamental struggle is being fought on Iraqi soil between those who believe that Iraqis, after a long nightmare, can retrieve their dignity and freedom, and others who think that oppression is the order of things and that Iraqis are doomed to a political culture of terror, prisons and mass graves. Some of our neighbors have made this struggle more lethal still, they have placed their bets on the forces of terror in pursuit of their own interests.
The people of Iraq are between Scylla and Charybdis here. On one side is the horrid beast of al-Qaeda that thinks nothing of using children to carry bombs into marketplaces. On the other is the bottomless maelstrom of Iran and Syria which dump millions of dollars and thousands of soldiers into their subjugation. They have one hope: hold on.
We simply can’t abandon them to the darkness. We can’t step away and let the Islamist maniacs have them. If we do, we lose the soul of our nation. If we do, we damn ourselves in ways we have not even begun to imagine.