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February 25, 2003

I read an interesting editorial today in the New York Times written by Jose Ramos-Horta, East Timor's minister of foreign affairs and cooperation. He also happened to share the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996. I think these credentials provide some merit behind his comments. He argues that before liberation of his country in 1999, he and most of East Timor suffered countless tragedies at the hands of Indonesia. He expresses disappointment and frustration at the United States in that many of Indonesia's weapons were provided by the US. However, he says they, and the other accomplices, redeemed themselves by providing a global peacekeeping force and freeing the nation.On a personal note, I often feel that the US is never appreciated for all they provide to the world, and so I was somewhat placated in this article where Bush's tactics are given credit and appreciation. For instance, in regards to the war in Iraq, Mr. Ramos-Horta says:

Critics of the United States give no credit to the Bush administration's aggressive strategy, even though it is the real reason that Iraq has allowed weapons inspectors to return and why Baghdad is cooperating a bit more, if it indeed is at all.
He argues that wanting peace is noble, but there are times where force is necessary. He maintains a desire for patience on Bush's part, letting the inspectors complete their job. However, he reminds us that Saddam is not an innocent being. Iraqi citizens are being tortured, killed, and depraved as Saddam remains in power. Barring a full disclosure of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam, or a voluntary exile, force will then be necessary. I also liked the last paragraph of the article which is as follows:
History has shown that the use of force is often the necessary price of liberation. A respected Kosovar intellectual once told me how he felt when the world finally interceded in his country: "I am a pacifist. But I was happy, I felt liberated, when I saw NATO bombs falling."

Posted by charr at 10:13 AM
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Last Updated 11/07/03