Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Iraq Thoughts

First, let me express my condolences to the family of Kim Sun-Il, the South Korean interpreter barbarously murdered by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his pack of savages.

While the elite media is awash in stories, half despairing and half gloating, on everything that is going wrong in Iraq, there is another Iraq, one where the Iraqi people are being empowered to build a better future for themselves. Once again, the indispensable Arthur Chrenkoff has put together a link-filled description of what is going well in Iraq:

The Good News from Iraq, Part 4

It's well worth a read.

In other news, Instapundit links to a great article from the Washington Times, on how the 1st Armored Division defeated the insurgency of Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia. As Instapundit notes, this was the same "Shi'ite Insurgency" that the elite media trumpeted in April as the final straw, the unmitigated disaster that would see us driven from Iraq, the pathetic remnants of our forces fighting desperately to reach Kuwait like Napoleon's Grande Armee fleeing Moscow.

Daniel Drezner, who has certainly not been afraid to criticize the administration's handling of Iraq, notes two other positive developments. One involves the improved training and equipping of Iraqi security forces. As Drezner notes, Lt. General David Petraeus, who did a superb job as commander of the 101st Airborne Division, has taken over this process and has provided greater direction to the training process while expediting the flow of funds. The second development Drezner points out is the enormous potential of the Iraqi economy, as this piece from the Council on Foreign Relations lays out.

My point is not that the situation in Iraq isn't difficult, it is clearly very difficult. There are numerous problems to be overcome, and there are no overnight solutions. A recent poll of Iraqi public opinion showing widespread resentment of the American presence in their country, illustrates just how difficult is the challenge facing us. The point is that even in the face of these enormous difficulties progress is being made. If we can improve the economic and security situations, in coordination with the new Iraqi government, then popular attitudes will eventually change as well. As I've noted before, patience and perspective are what is needed, not hysterical overeactions to short-term events at the expense of the bigger picture.


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