Ongoing trouble to be expected

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 2, 2003

For the second time in three days, American troops in Fallujah, Iraq on Wednesday fired on anti-U.S. protesters. At least two were killed and 18 injured.

In a bloodier episode Monday night, 15 protesters and bystanders were killed and at least 50 wounded as U.S. troops refused to give up their foothold in the one-time Baath Party bastion.

Many war naysayers will no doubt look upon these events as evidence that we are not wanted there and indeed have no business being there.


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The incidents shouldn’t come as any surprise, particularly to American leadership. There was never any question that there would be ongoing trouble. The fact is, more such incidents are likely to occur in the coming weeks as various factions vie for power.

It wasn’t just because he was an evil tyrant that Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq with an iron fist – though that was certainly a big part of it – it was to keep order. Coalition forces are likely to have to deal with similar challenges in a similar manner.

And that’s OK. Creating democracy is rarely easy or pretty. While we may not like what is happening, we have to stay focused on the long-term, strategic interests of the U.S. and the world – creating a free, democratic Iraq that will serve as a stabilizing force in the region. That’s a big task, but one which our troops and leaders are up to.