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LET Not too early for hope for Iraq

Let me offer a different perspective than the Post-Bulletin editorial of Feb. 3, "As history unfolds in Iraq." That message implied that it's too early to feel good about events in Iraq, and posed the question "Do the ends justify the means?"

The steady barrage of negative media had me about ready to give up hope for success in Iraq, with success defined as establishment of a stable and democratic government. Now, the Iraqi voters have spoken, and I see things differently.

Granted, the situation in Iraq is fragile, and there is a long way to go. So it was in America a couple hundred years ago. Our liberty didn't come instantly, nor did it come without sacrifice. Plus, there is the ongoing cost for freedom, so it's a fight that will never totally end. I recall the words on a monument in Washington, "Freedom is not free." Those words ring true throughout the world.

It is said that "getting to the top starts with the first step," and that's where we are today in Iraq. It's a challenging, and in some ways a nearly impossible, climb, but let's envision the prize at the top and feel good about our progress these past weeks. How can we look into the eyes of celebrating Iraqi voters, holding ink-dipped fingers in the air, and not stand beside them?

Jim; Fiebke

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Rochester;

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