Politics & Policy

Progress Reports

Balancing some of the Iraq-news scales.

Two-thousand American soldiers dead.

Suicide bombers.

Bad things happening in Iraq.

You know that story. You read and hear it again and again. Yesterday a terorrist car bomb killed 20 in Basra.

But what about the good stuff that’s happening? A consensus constitution voted on by the people of Iraq (9.8 million, according to the Iraqi Electoral Commission) was no small thing, even with its warts (which in a democratic Iraq, with flexibility built in, can be worked on still).

To counter a little of the gloom and doom (some of it justified, much of it antiwar propaganda), this week on NRO we’ll be focusing on some of the underreported good news in Iraq–progress that’s been made there and continues to be on a variety of fronts: political, military, culture. Reporting a bit on the progress may balance the scale; it’s something we owe the American servicemen and civilians who serve there.

Today former Pentagonian Michael Rubin, who has spent most of his 20 months in post-liberation Iraq outside the insulated Green Zone, writes, “Democracy and reconstruction are processes. Progress is slow, but to those who know Iraq, it is there. Iraqis criticize certain Washington decisions and embassy strategy. Few, though, see any merits in abandonment.”

Rubin adds–and this is why we’re focused on “good news” this week: “In no case, though, should Iraq be treated a template for cynical politics. Twenty-five million Iraqis deserve better. So do U.S. servicemen taking extraordinary risks, more than 2,000 making the ultimate sacrifice, not only for Iraq’s freedom and liberty, but also U.S. national security.”…


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