One Down, One To Go

Michael Yon has reported more fairly, more reliably and more knowledgeably from Iraq, over a period of years, than any other journalist. So it’s significant when he reports that the war in Iraq is over:

“THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON:” Michael Yon just phoned from Baghdad, and reports that things are much better than he had expected, and he had expected things to be good. “There’s nothing going on. I’m with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I’m with haven’t fired their weapons on this tour and they’ve been here eight months. And the place we’re at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there’s nothing going on. I’ve been walking my feet off and haven’t seen anything. I’ve been asking Iraqis, ‘do you think the violence will kick up again,’ but even the Iraqi journalists are sounding optimistic now and they’re usually dour.” There’s a little bit of violence here and there, but nothing that’s a threat to the general situation. Plus, not only the Iraqi Army, but even the National Police are well thought of by the populace. Training from U.S. toops has paid off, he says, in building a rapport.

He says the big problem everybody is talking about now is corruption. But hey, we have that here, too. He’ll be heading to Afghanistan next week. “Afghanistan is a bad situation, but on Iraq I can’t believe things have turned out so well.”

In Afghanistan, of course, things are still troubled, and the forces of evil may be resurgent. Yesterday, classes had to be canceled at a girls’ school after Taliban members on motorcycles accosted a group of students and teachers walking to school in Kandahar, and threw acid on their faces:

“They don’t want us go to school. They don’t like education,” said Susan Ibrahimi, who started teaching at Mirwais Mena four months ago. She and her mother, also a teacher at the school, were wearing burqas on their walk to work when the motorbike stopped next to them.

“They didn’t say anything. They just stopped the motorbike and one of the guys threw acid on us and they went away,” Ibrahimi said in a telephone interview. …

Fifteen people were hit with acid in all, including four teachers, Qaderi said.

This young girl was burned especially severely and has not yet been able to open her eyes:

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The Afghan government denounced the attack as “un-Islamic.” That’s the question, I guess. It wouldn’t be hard to think of more emphatic epithets.

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