"What is striking, though, is that after people get through complaining to you about their situation, they each seem to have a story about a family member or cousin who was arbitrarily jailed or killed by Saddam's thugs. They are truly glad to be rid of him. America did good in doing that, so now we must build a peace we can be equally proud of.
"But this is such a broken land. Its spirit was broken by Saddam long before we arrived, and now, because of this war, its major cities and iron-fisted order are being broken as well. Killing Saddam alone will not bring America the thank-yous it expects because Iraqis are not yet feeling free. Only replacing Saddam's order with a better order will do that. "There is no freedom because there is no security," said Dr. Mohammed al-Mansuri, the hospital's director. . .
". . .America broke Iraq; now America owns Iraq, and it owns the primary responsibility for normalizing it. If the water doesn't flow, if the food doesn't arrive, if the rains don't come and if the sun doesn't shine, it's now America's fault. We'd better get used to it, we'd better make things right, we'd better do it soon, and we'd better get all the help we can get.
America broke Iraq? We now own the place? And it's our job to fix it? You would have to write for the Times to believe that. It was 25 years of Saddam that broke Iraq--Friedman admits as much--and a big chunk of the Iraqi people allowed it to happen. I'm glad the Iraqi people are dancing in the streets, but truth be told, many of the Iraqi people have a lot to answer for.
Now that the US has dethroned Saddam, we owe Iraq a modicum of policing until an interim government is established. Where people are in immanent danger of death due to the war, relief aid to relive that danger is in order. But that's it. Saddam's boot have been removed from the necks of the Iraqi people. The onus on rebuilding Iraq now properly belongs to the Iraqis.