Dear Iraq: It's Time to Step Up. Sincerely, W

'Financial 9/11' calls for nation-building—at home, says Friedman
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2008 8:57 AM CDT
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, center, and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, right, listen to President Bush, left, during their meeting with Iraq Coalition at the United Nations, Tuesday,...   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – As America faces "a financial 9/11," what does the $1 trillion bailout mean for the country's other huge expense—the war in Iraq? Thomas L. Friedman plays ventriloquist in the New York Times, imagining President Bush telling Iraqi leaders that "you are now going to have to step up and finish this job" as the US will "turn inward to get our house back in order."

"American taxpayers who would not let their money be used to subsidize their own companies," writes Friedman as Bush, "will not have their tax dollars used to subsidize your endless dithering over which Iraqi community dominates Kirkuk." It's still in America's interest to encourage stability in Iraq, of course. But "I’ve been way, way too patient with you. That is over."