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Good News in Iraq: So This is Progress?

November 28, 2007

The Washington Post notes the improving situation in Iraq as seen by taxicab drivers. Cabbies are targeted in Baghdad and prove to be a good bellwether of security. So I am heartened by reports like the following:

“To tell you the truth, I thought I had just traded my life for 5,000 dinars,” or $4, said Abbas, who was shocked when he arrived in the traffic-jammed streets of Adhamiyah to see shops open and people strolling in the road. “Then I suddenly realized that security really is returning to Baghdad.”

However the situation is not that great. The situation is now only getting back to where we once were:

According to interviews with a dozen cabbies across the city, however, the mood now is far more hopeful than at any point since the February 2006 bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, which plunged the country to the brink of civil war.

I am heartened by the progress that is now obviously being made. This now leads us to an interesting crossroads. What does America do now that there are tangible signs of progress in Iraq? How does the military handle the situation now the surge is ending? Do we pull out now things are a little better or do we try to shore up the situation in Iraq? George Packer, as always, is already considering these questions. He also provides much more required reading.

I hate to be Tom Friedmanesque, but, the next 6 months are critical.

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