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Stateside with Rosalea: Custard, anyone?

Stateside with Rosalea

Custard, anyone?

By Rosalea Barker

For those who haven't seen it on-line, here is the last paragraph of Michael Kelly's column in the Atlantic Monthly, which I referred to yesterday. It's in today's "For the record" section of

"The argument [over Iraq] concerns whether the employment of this almost unfathomable [military] power will be largely for good, leading to the liberation of a tyrannized people and the spread of freedom, or largely for bad, leading to imperialism and colonialism, with a consequent corruption of America's own values and freedoms. This question is real enough and more: probably the next hundred years hinges on the answer." —Michael Kelly, in "A Letter from Kuwait City," his last column for The Atlantic.

It will be as well to keep those two conflicting outcomes in view as events unfold. Even this morning as, live on (Pacific-time) breakfast television, the US military helped topple a statue of Saddam Hussein there was some confusion about which of those outcomes was in progress: at one stage a US soldier draped a US flag over the statue's head. It was quickly removed, as the PR campaign painting Operation Iraqi Fiefdom to be about liberation not imperialism got back into full swing.

Even before the flag incident, the rope broke, so it wasn't an easy topple. Nor was it reported on the TV news bulletins I skimmed through that this statue is in a largely Shi'ite part of Baghdad, so the jubilation may be less that of freed Iraqis, than jubilation of a sectarian nature.

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