Today I stumbled upon a story on the BBC website that stopped me cold. The piece is titled, “Agencies See Good Year for Iraq.” The “agencies” are the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. And the title referred to a “good year,” not a good day or week or month.
This is an unbelievably important story, and yet you won’t read it anywhere except the BBC site, and even there, it’s buried.
Both the UN and IMF—-hardly pro-American organizations and never supportive of the Iraq engagement—-issued reports projecting a period of great economic growth for Iraq: the IMF sees 7% growth this year and a similar rate of growth for 2009. It also says oil revenues should be up by between 200,000 and 2.2 million barrels a day.
The UN report details all of the positive political progress there too. The UN envoy praised the Iraqi government’s work on Sunni and Shia reconciliation and the increased stabilization generated by all sides working together to pass laws to govern the country anew.
The UN and IMF also acknowledge that violence—although still occurring—has plummeted dramatically (thanks to the heroics of the US military). That, in turn, has allowed this kind of political and economic progress to take place.
Amazing what a little resolve can do.
Not coincidentally, there was another story today that the anti-war folks are abandoning their push to get the troop funding cut and withdrawal timelines in place (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0108/7949.html). I guess the UN saying Iraq was much improved finally got the message across.
Those anti-war groups did a lot of damage to our cause in Iraq, the Iraqi people’s cause, our credibility in the world, and our domestic politics. Thanks to them, the effort in Iraq was made much more difficult. Of course, they had their comrades in the mainstream press and in Congress. And the administration’s screw-ups didn’t help either.
But it was the anti-war groups, with all of their radical anti-American hysteria, that made getting here a longer, slower, and deadlier slog than necessary. Now they’ve dropped their routine faster than a speeding bullet. But they have left a devastating legacy in their wake. When they ask the president how he looks himself in the mirror, perhaps they might ask themselves that same question.
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