It’s not time to give up on Iraq just yet

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The television images on Tuesday were all too familiar: a building blown apart almost beyond recognition; parents overcome with worry, rescue workers digging in rubble for any signs of life.

The suicide bombing of the hotel housing the United Nations’ headquarters in Iraq is indeed a tremendous setback to our efforts to secure peace in that nation. To suggest otherwise would trivialize the significance of the attack &045; both in scope and in symbolism.

But while this attack has the potential to undermine our efforts, this is not the time to throw in the towel.

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Critics of the military action will be quick to question our need to stay in the country, and at what expense our continued presence costs us.

But we’ve had troops in Iraq less than a year. The war, which lasted barely two months, has been over about that long.

That’s not quite enough time to decide that Iraq is going to turn into a quagmire like Vietnam.

Still, an event like Tuesday’s bombing is of course cause for an evaluation of our troops’ safety and security &045; not to mention the security of aid workers and the Iraqis themselves.

Do we need more troops in Iraq?

That’s a question best answered by the military and intelligence officials who are watching &045; and participating in &045; this situation every day, not by the armchair analysts populating nightly news broadcasts.