Yet another columnist travels to Baghdad and finds that things there are going better than Big Media would have us think. Today’s convert is Fred Hiatt:
The effort is impressive, from the vast staging city of air-conditioned tents in the Kuwaiti desert to the Army Corps of Engineers patching oil wells in the north. Impressive too are the dedication and courage of tens of thousands far from home: the consultant who left her comfortable Washington job to sleep on a cot in Saddam Hussein’s palace and help coordinate relations between the provisional government and the paymasters back in the District; the 21-year-old tank driver, who had never heard of Ramadan or Baghdad but now finds himself stolidly guarding a police station in one of the city’s toughest slums; the British officers shaping a new Iraqi army, the Danish mass-grave experts helping to document Saddam Hussein’s crimes, the Iraqi exile professors and businessmen back to pitch in where they can.
And are they winning the peace? A short answer: More than you might think, less than you might have hoped.
What Hiatt doesn’t say (and might not know), is that his last line I quoted is the absolute best one can hope from any war.
Or, for that matter, from any peace.