Inside Opinion

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Tag: war


Thank American troops for Iraq’s elections

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Veterans of Iraq – at Fort Lewis and elsewhere – can stand even taller after Sunday’s elections in that once-bloody country.

By any standard, the vote was a success. The turnout, 62 percent, far exceeded the turnout in U.S. congressional elections and equaled that of the 2008 presidential election. Iraqi candidates and political parties had campaigned fiercely – with rhetoric, not bullets and bombs. The voting by and large looked clean and honest.

Roughly 40 Iraqis were killed in election-related violence, as many as half the fatalities occurring in a single rocket attack that brought down an entire apartment building in Baghdad. But that’s a calm sunny day compared to the sectarian massacres Iraq was enduring several years ago.

The rocket attack and other explosions in Baghdad didn’t intimidate voters; they reportedly spurred more people to vote. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi security forces – not American troops – controlled the streets and appeared to thoroughly cow what remains of the once-powerful insurgent forces. Except for a few brief closures, polls remained open all day throughout the country.
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Obama, Americanism run amok in Oslo

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Just when it looks like Barack Obama is getting dragged under for the third time by angry domestic politics, he bounces back up – in Norway, of all places – and reminds us why Americans elected him in the first place.

The president’s remarks while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Thursday strengthened the case for giving it to him, though maybe not in ways expected by those who most applauded the decision.

When the prize was announced in October, there was speculation that the socialist-leaning Nobel committee was trying to co-opt him toward a Euro-leftist foreign policy – wary of American power and laced with pacifism. If that was the plan, it didn’t work.

Obama on Thursday delivered the unanswerable rebuttal to those who argue that war only begets more violence and can never be justified. In two words, Adolf Hitler.

“I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people,” Obama said. “For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies … To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism – it is a recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.”
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Fort Lewis forces pay high price for war

For many Americans, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are far off in the distance, with little impact on their own lives. But here in the South Sound, they resonate as clearly as the sound of artillery during training exercises and as visibly as the transport planes that fly overhead.

Because of the presence of Fort Lewis, few other places in America so deeply feel the weight of war and know the cost of it. The single deadliest day so far for our forces was Monday, when eight Stryker soldiers were killed in two separate roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, they and 10 other Americans came home. President Obama was at Dover Air Force Base, Del. – the first time a president has been present when remains of fallen military arrived. Read more »