Tuesday, December 28, 2004

There is reason for hope in Iraq

Fred Hiatt authored a column yesterday that anyone who is serious about maintaining an objective view of the situation in Iraq should read in full. Here is a taste.

Returning to Washington from Baghdad this month for home leave gave A. Heather Coyne a shock, and not just thanks to the cold. In Iraq, as chief representative of the U.S. Institute of Peace, Coyne spends her days working with that country's emerging civil society. Back home, she finds Americans astonished to hear that there is an emerging civil society -- that Iraqis remain involved with rebuilding their country despite all the explosions and killings.

No, this is not a "good news" story. . .

The insurgents . . . are succeeding, not only in killing and wounding Iraqis and Americans but in impeding Iraqis' ability to rebuild their country and to interact with each other and with foreigners. They are blocking precisely the kinds of interaction a society needs to begin recovering from decades of dictatorship. . .

What is remarkable, though, is that despite the mistakes of the U.S. occupation, and despite the ruthlessness and brutality of the terrorists, so many Iraqis continue to stand up on the other side.