“Iraq Is A Mess”

Posted: September 22, 2008 in World

How many times have we heard that in the past few months?

Well apparently the NY Times are stunned over the on the ground progress that has been made in that country, thanks to our troops. Dexter Filkins writes

BAGHDAD — At first, I didn’t recognize the place.

On Karada Mariam, a street that runs over the Tigris River toward the Green Zone, the Serwan and the Zamboor, two kebab places blown up by suicide bombers in 2006, were crammed with customers. Farther up the street was Pizza Napoli, the Italian place shut down in 2006; it, too, was open for business. And I’d forgotten altogether about Abu Nashwan’s Wine Shop, boarded up when the black-suited militiamen of the Mahdi Army had threatened to kill its owners. There it was, flung open to the world.

Two years ago, when I last stayed in Baghdad, Karada Mariam was like the whole of the city: shuttered, shattered, broken and dead.

Abu Nawas Park — I didn’t recognize that, either. By the time I had left the country in August 2006, the two-mile stretch of riverside park was a grim, spooky, deserted place, a symbol for the dying city that Baghdad had become.

These days, the same park is filled with people: families with children, women in jeans, women walking alone. Even the nighttime, when Iraqis used to cower inside their homes, no longer scares them. I can hear their laughter wafting from the park. At sundown the other day, I had to weave my way through perhaps 2,000 people. It was an astonishing, beautiful scene — impossible, incomprehensible, only months ago. (more…)

  1. Andre says:

    Hi Duane,

    I don’t think “stunned” is the word. I think a more acurate description of the NYT or most of us anti-war folks is skeptical; skeptical of whether or not the hundreds of billions of dollars the the thousands of military and civilian lives lost is worth the “…astonishing, beautiful scene — impossible, incomprehensible, only months ago…” cited by the author; especially when the conditions of this country continue to decline.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Dumb-ocrats have disappointed me on a bunch of fronts. But this isn’t one of them. Contrary to what the Republi-can’ts think, nobody wants to “lose” this conflict. But “success” is too hard to define and is apparently starting to cost WAY too much.

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