Amir Taheri has an important article on the state of
Spending time in the
United Statesafter a tour of can be a disorienting experience these days. Within hours of arriving here, as I can attest from a recent visit, one is confronted with an image of Iraq that is unrecognizable. It is created in several overlapping ways: through television footage showing the charred remains of vehicles used in suicide attacks, surrounded by wailing women in black and grim-looking men carrying coffins; by armchair strategists and political gurus predicting further doom or pontificating about how the war should have been fought in the first place; by authors of instant-history books making their rounds to dissect the various fundamental mistakes committed by the Bush administration; and by reporters, cocooned in hotels in Baghdad, explaining the carnage and chaos in the streets as signs of the countrys impending or undeclared civil war. Add to all this the days alleged scandal or revelationan outed CIA operative, a reportedly doctored intelligence report, a leaked pessimistic assessmentand it is no wonder the American public registers disillusion with Iraq and everyone who embroiled the U.S. in its troubles. Iraq
It would be hard indeed for the average interested citizen to find out on his own just how grossly this image distorts the realities of present-day
. Part of the problem, faced by even the most well-meaning news organizations, is the difficulty of covering so large and complex a subject; naturally, in such circumstances, sensational items rise to the top. But even ostensibly more objective efforts, like the Brookings Institutions much-cited Iraq Index with its constantly updated array of security, economic, and public-opinion indicators, tell us little about the actual feel of the country on the ground. Iraq
To make matters worse, many of the newsmen, pundits, and commentators on whom American viewers and readers rely to describe the situation have been contaminated by the increasing bitterness of American politics. Clearly there are those in the media and the think tanks who wish the
enterprise to end in tragedy, as a just comeuppance for George W. Bush. Others, prompted by noble sentiment, so abhor the idea of war that they would banish it from human discourse before admitting that, in some circumstances, military power can be used in support of a good cause. But whatever the reason, the half-truths and outright misinformation that now function as conventional wisdom have gravely disserved the American people. Iraq
He goes on to cite four important indicies of progress.
1 There has been no major exodus of refugees.
2 Millions of Iraqis and other Musims have been making pilgrimages to religious shrines – something that doesn’t happen during times of troubles.
3 The value of the Iraqi dinar has been rising and it is now accepted as a stable medium of exchange, not only in
but in other countries in the region. Iraq
4. There is a private-sector business boom going on throughout
, especially in small to medium sized businesses. Iraq
5, In times of troubles Iraqis fall silent. Today, though, they are extremely voluble, speaking out on all matter of things via all available media. This speaks to a political confidence that was missing before.
[S]ober observers should understand the real balance sheet in
. Democracy is succeeding. Moreover, thanks to its success in Iraq , there are stirrings elsewhere in the region. Beyond the much-publicized electoral concessions wrung from authoritarian rulers in Iraq Egyptand , there is a new democratic discourse to be heard. Nationalism and pan-Arabism, yesterdays hollow rallying cries, have given way to a big idea of a very different kind. Debate and dissent are in the air where there was none beforea development owing, in significant measure, to the Saudi Arabia U.S.campaign in and the brilliant if still checkered Iraqi response. Iraq
The stakes, in short, could not be higher. This is all the more reason to celebrate, to build on, and to consolidate what has already been accomplished. Instead of railing against the Bush administration, Americas elites would do better, and incidentally display greater self-respect, to direct their wrath where it properly belongs: at those violent and unrestrained enemies of democracy in Iraq who are, in truth, the enemies of democracy in America as well, and of everything America has ever stood for.
a quagmire, a disaster, a failure? Certainly not; none of the above. Of all the adjectives used by skeptics and critics to describe todays Iraq , the only one that has a ring of truth is messy. Yes, the situation in Iraq today is messy. Births always are. Since when is that a reason to declare a baby unworthy of life? Iraq
Read it here.
RELATED: Gateway Pundit reports on millions of refugees returning to their homes in Afghanistan. Most had fled the Taliban. [here].