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Nobel Peace laureate defends the war in Iraq

Jose Ramos-Horta, East Timor's Nobel Peace Prize winner, has an interesting opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal.

Those who oppose the use of force at any cost may question why overthrowing Saddam was such a priority. Why not instead tackle Robert Mugabe, the junta in Myanmar, or Syria? But while Mugabe is a ruthless despot, he is hardly in the same league as Saddam--a tyrant who used chemical weapons on his own people, unleashed two catastrophic wars against his Muslim neighbors, and defied the U.N.

Saddam's overthrow offers a chance to build a new Iraq that is peaceful, tolerant and prosperous. That's why the stakes are so high, and why extremists from across the Muslim world are fighting to prevent it. They know that a free Iraq would fatally undermine their goal of purging all Western influence from the Muslim world, overthrowing the secular regimes in the region, and imposing Stone Age rule. They know that forcing Western countries to withdraw from Iraq would be a major step toward that goal, imperiling the existence of moderate regimes--from the Middle East to the Magreb and Southeast Asia.

Read the whole thing.