"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

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News From Iraq

I have noticed lately a lack of news from Iraq. I found a couple of items which are representative of Iraqi news.

From the Khaleej Times.

With Kalashnikovs slung over their shoulders, Iraq's first Christian militia enforces one simple rule on the border of this little village. 'Anyone not from Tel Asquf, is banned.'

From the The Post Chronicle.

U.S. soldiers, tipped by Iraqis, found a major cache of bomb-making materials in Babil province, military officials said Sunday.

The soldiers discovered more than 2,500 components that could be used to make penetrator-type bombs, the officials told American Forces Press Service. The materiel was found in an area southeast of the village of Samrah.

From Al Sumaria.

Police chief Brigadier-General Sabah Al Fitlawi ordered the arrest of the owner of a virtual company under the name of “Iraq Reconstruction” which has branches in eight southern provinces and Baghdad on account of judicial complaints accusing him of seizing millions of dollars. Al Fitlawi affirmed that arrest warrants against Ali Mohsen Al Rubaie, his father and his brother were issued five days ago on account of citizens’ complaints.

And another article from Al Sumaria.

The political council for national security did not convene to discuss Khanaqin crisis as some Kurdish leaders were not present in Baghdad. Therefore, the dilemma over Iraqi Army deployment in Khanaqin is unsettled mainly that some parties claim that the political council is not concerned with this issue.

These articles are representative of the main news coming out of Iraq in the last few weeks. Citizens are solving local security issues. Coalition forces found and cleared another cache. The police are searching for a corrupt businessman. Political councils are trying to resolve a border issue.

It struck me that several of these issues are also seen in many western democracies. Folks, concerned about security are starting a neigborhood watch, granted, they have AKs, but it is a neighborhood watch none the less.

While there still are explosions here and there, a larger part of the news involves caches being found. In this particular case, the cache was some 2500 components which could be used to make EFPs.

As things have settled down, locals are beginning to wonder where millions of dollars in reconstruction money went and thus are searching for the culprit.

Finally, politicians are getting together to solve the Khanaqin issue. Notice there are not firefights over the issue just parties getting (or in this case, not getting) together to attempt to resolve an issue peacefully.

Make no doubt about it, Iraq is still a dangerous place. However, the intent of the surge, which effectively just ended with the last of the surge forces being pulled out last month were to quell violence by bringing down insurgent groups, provide the time necessary for the Iraqi Army to build capacity so that they could not only police themselves but also go after insurgents, to provide breathing space to the Iraqi Government so they could begin the reconciliation process, and allow the Iraqi Government to begin to govern beyond the Green Zone.

From the articles above, it sound precisely like all objectives have been accomplished. While Iraq will still need to fall under the security umbrella of the US for some time to come, Iraq is beginning to move beyond a young democracy only securing its politicians into a democracy which secures the population, which allows the population to prosper, which allows the population to grow economically, which in turn allows a population to invest in its own future, which brings in immigrants due to superior market forces (more money than one can make in their own country).

Yes, Iraq is fast becoming the beacon of democracy in the center of the Middle East for all other countries to emulate. Yes, there are still problems. Yes, it ain't perfect. But it is a heck of a lot better with Saddam gone, not supporting terrorists anymore, and growing into a vibrant democracy which one would presume would be friendly to the United States.

One point I would like to make. If I were Mullahs in Iran, I would be extremely worried to have such a vibrant growing economy on my borders which houses a majority Shia population. Fellow Shias may begin to wonder why they are not prospering to the same degree. This fact was after all, the strategic objective for going into Iraq in the first place.

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