Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Iraq is a Mess! Oh Really?

Fast on the heals of President Bushs' trip to Baghdad his distractors are calling it a stunt and asking why all the secrecy? If Iraq is going so well why has Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice all had to sneak in under a veil of secrecy? Well, my cynical friends, here's your answer: IT'S A FREAKING WAR ZONE!

Since the death of Zarqawi and the naming of the final to ministers in Iraq's new government there has been a lot to feel good about regarding the future of Iraq. Still the political left and their friends in the media continue unabated with their litany day after day of the mess George Bush has created. The conservatives and supporters of the President and his "vision" of a transformed Middle East are on the other side decrying the lack of balanced coverage.

Day after day CNN and ABC and the like show images of the burned remains of vehicles still smoking from the latest suicide attack, followed by video of distraught women and angry-looking men carrying coffins through the streets; and the sullen faces of coorespondents predicting civil war. Yet, in Basra in the south and the Kurdish areas in the north life is so much better than it has been since the 70's that the place is hardly recognizable.

It seems in their never ending zeal to denegrate Bush the media and the leftist cabal behind it cannot or will not fathom that the War on Terror and the Iraq war are historically significant - I'm talking about long history - a hundred years or more... The Islamic jihad has been waged against Western Civilization for decades and the powers that be treated it as if it were a pesky fly. It is obviously much more than that. President Bush, faced with a new reality after 9/11, recognizes that we have to deal with it harshly from a offensive perspective and Iraq is the keystone. Success hinges on Iraq. Ironically to save civilization it all goes back to where it all began - at the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates.

Writer and editor Amir Taheri, well known to readers in Iran, Europe and New York, sees it differently than the American and European mainstream media. His extensive knowledge of Iraq and it's tumultuous history helps put into focus just how much better life is and how much greater the future will be if Iraq is allowed to succeed along the path President Bush and the coalition has cleared for them.

I will highlight just a few excellent points from Mr. Taheri's recent article on commentarymagazine.com's website. Here he is pointing to the evidence that the future in Iraq holds a promise that shows no bounds:

Since my first encounter with Iraq almost 40 years ago, I have relied on several broad measures of social and economic health to assess the country’s condition. Through good times and bad, these signs have proved remarkably accurate—as accurate, that is, as is possible in human affairs. For some time now, all have been pointing in an unequivocally positive direction.

The first sign is refugees. When things have been truly desperate in Iraq—in 1959, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1980, 1988, and 1990—long queues of Iraqis have formed at the Turkish and Iranian frontiers, hoping to escape....

...after the fall of Saddam... To the contrary, Iraqis, far from fleeing, have been returning home. By the end of 2005, in the most conservative estimate, the number of returnees topped the 1.2-million mark.

A second dependable sign likewise concerns human movement, but of a different kind. Pilgrimages...From 1991 (when Saddam Hussein massacred Shiites involved in a revolt against him) to 2003, there were scarcely any pilgrims... In 2005, the holy sites received an estimated 12 million pilgrims, making them the most visited spots in the entire Muslim world, ahead of both Mecca and Medina.

A third sign, this one of the hard economic variety, is the value of the Iraqi dinar, especially as compared with the region’s other major currencies. In the final years of Saddam Hussein’s rule, the Iraqi dinar was in free fall; after 1995, it was no longer even traded in Iran and Kuwait. By contrast, the new dinar, introduced early in 2004, is doing well against both the Kuwaitidinar and the Iranian rial, having risen by 17 percent against the former and by 23 percent against the latter.

My fourth time-tested sign is the level of activity by small and medium-sized businesses. In the past, whenever things have gone downhill in Iraq, large numbers of such enterprises have simply closed down, with the country’s most capable entrepreneurs decamping to Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states, Turkey, Iran, and even Europe and North America. Since liberation, however, Iraq has witnessed a private-sector boom, especially among small and medium-sized businesses...

...according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as well as numerous private studies, the Iraqi economy has been doing better than any other in the region. The country’s gross domestic product rose to almost $90 billion in 2004.

Taheri goes on to point out that Iraq actually did have a democratic tradition prior to the take over of a pro-Soviet regime in 1958. It may not have been a democracy in the tradition of America or England but to say democracy simply won't work in the arab world is defeatist and cynical.

But cynicism and mockery are the two greatest tools the leftists have. They use them whenever their arguments don't stand up (which is most of the time). They use them against religion, tradition, truth, beauty, America, apple pie and Chevrolet. Just watch a show called Comedy Central's Daily Show sometime for a regular dose of cynicism and mockery. Their favorite topic is George Bushs' war on Iraq. Don't expect to hear any good news there - about anything.

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