Score One for Operation Iraqi Freedom

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Do not overlook Sabrina Tavernese’s splendid story in yesterday’s Times, “Amid Iraqi Chaos, Schools Fill After Long Decline,” which demonstrates that the invasion of Iraq has allowed more kids to go to school, up 27 percent in grades 7-12. The reasons are many, including a population increase in Iraq. But the Bush Administration’s invasion surely deserves credit. It has committed oil revenues to teachers’ salaries, and Americans have financed school construction.

“Fathers can provide food for their families,” said Abdul Zahra al-Yasiri, a teacher in Karbala in southern Iraq. “Kids don’t have to work to help their parents anymore.”

We can argue about how much of the previous decline in school attendance was a result of another form of international intrusion, sanctions, but I say give credit where credit is due.

And if you think I’ve changed my mind about this disastrous war, which has brought so much suffering in the name of arrogant and delusional theories of religion and democracy, think again.