To the editor:
I am awed by the courage of the Iraqi people. Until now, we have seen them primarily as victims of Hussein's tyranny, suffering from the savagery of insurgents and as collateral casualties of the war we are prosecuting in their country. But on Sunday they emerged into our view as truly valiant advocates of freedom. Their votes are a testimony to their longing for liberty and fearless dedication to self-determination.
Iraq's day of democratic process came at an enormous cost to our own nation. Sunday would not have been possible without the incalculable sacrifices of our servicemen and women and their families, along with the astounding mathematics of a burgeoning national debt. My hope is that the new Iraqi government will not only be viable, but sympathetic to the intentions and interests of the United States. The politics of Iraq are complex and unpredictable. We may have to live with only the satisfaction of having set at liberty those who were oppressed. The Iraqi people will be free to choose their own friends in the world.
JOHN RICE, Jackson