Quote For The Day II

"Iraq's reconstruction will be as symbolically important as West Germany's was after World War II, but it will be a much tougher project. With three vehement ethnic and religious groups within, and Islamic radicals in the hills nearby, it looks more like Yugoslavia than Germany. In that sense, Iraq predicts the complexities of Asia: the religions, cultures and traditions of governance are profoundly different from ours, the chances of lethal misunderstandings far greater than they were in Europe. President Bush seemed to dismiss this concern in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute on Feb. 26: "It is presumptuous and insulting to suggest that a whole region of the world...is somehow untouched by the most basic aspirations of life. Human cultures can be vastly different, yet the human heart desires the same good things everywhere on earth.

But surely it is not presumptuous to suggest that freedom isn't easily imposed by outsiders, that it is nurtured slowly and indigenously and may develop in ways that we find strange," - Joe Klein, in his column on the eve of the Iraq war five years ago this week.