Friday, May 19, 2006

The Real Iraq

Amir Taheri has penned an assessment of the current state of affairs in Iraq, in which he presents a series of benchmarks for the success of the democratization effort there. He contrasts today's Iraq with the nation as it was under Saddam, against the historical backdrop of the early 20th century when Iraq first appeared on a map, and the coup d'etat in 1958 that ended the constitutional monarchy which had prospered. Taheri readily concedes that the Iraq story is too big for any one news organization to cover in full, and it is only natural that the more sensational events (bombs, murders, and bombs) tend to garner more attention than employment statistics, GDP, and record school attendance. He stresses, however, that the one-sided picture painted by the MSM and the lack of objectivity on the part of anti-Bush and anti-America factions across the globe ignore the plain fact that, although not guaranteed of success, the Iraqi people are rebounding from their decades of oppression, as are the democratic traditions of Iraq's early history. Further, the negative press coverage has become the insurgent's last hope of breaking America's will to win, since all of the insurgency's other attempts to derail democracy and freedom in Iraq have so far come to naught. He sums it up well:

Is Iraq 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?

Read it all here, it is time well spent.

On a separate note, there is a huge furor over reports, apparently attributed to Amir Taheri, that the Iranian government has decided to force all Jews and Christians to wear yellow and blue badges or ribbons, respectively. While it is confirmed that the Iranian parliament has passed a new law imposing an Islamic dress code on all of it's citizens, no news organizations have been able to independantly confirm the yellow/blue badges for Jews/Christians.

Amir Taheri responds to the furor by indicating that his article was "opinion" and its not his fault if others treated it as news. Get the lowdown at HotAir.

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