Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Positive News from Iraq

The news from Iraq has been unrelentingly bleak over the last two months. As many bloggers and pundits have pointed out, the situation was never really as bad as portrayed in the media. Still, in the 24 hour news cycle world in which we live, perception has increasingly become reality. If the current media environment had existed 60 years ago, I'd probably be typing this blog in German.

That's why it is so important that we are once again beginning to see visible signs of progress in Iraq. First, last week's finalization of the interim Iraqi government. Then, the agreement to disband Iraqi militias. Today, a blow was struck against the forces of terrorism, as four western hostages were freed by US special forces. Finally, the Bush Administration's "unilateralism" was on full display at the UN, as we secured a unanimous Security Council resolution endorsing the new Iraqi government and our continued role in the country.

Several other bloggers have noted one other piece of good news that the elite media have conspicuously played down: the Iraqi government today assumed full control over the country's oil industry.

As I noted, perception is reality. The security situation will continue to be difficult, and may well get worse in the short term before it gets better. The radical Islamists, both foreign and indigenous, who form the core of the "Iraqi Resistance", will throw everything they have at us in order to prevent Iraq from becoming a pluralist, democratic, modern state. It is vital that, in the face of their assault, we stay the course and continue to show progress on the economic, political, and security fronts. As I noted in my post on Iraqification, our strategy of building up Iraqi political and security institutions will take some time. It is vital that people both here and in Iraq see that we are indeed making progress towards achieving this goal.


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