What has really happened since the end of major hostilities?

Jack Kelly in the Washington Times argues that things are actually going well in Iraq. Kelly, quoting Ayad Rahim in the Washington Times, argues that “except for the isolated contract killings and sabotage, the country is calm and experiencing improved conditions day by day. A general who previously served in Kosovo said things are happening in Iraq after three months that didn’t happen after 12 months in Kosovo.” Kelly also quotes a Marine who says, “There is another Iraq the media virtually ignore. It has been a model of success. The streets are safe, petty and violent crime are low, water and electrical services are almost universally available, and ordinary Iraqis are beginning to clean up and rebuild their neighborhoods…. A deep level of mutual trust and respect has developed between the Marines and the populace here in central and southern Iraq.”
We, of course, have no way of knowing which version of the Iraqi story — the mainstream media’s or Kelly’s — comes closer to the truth. But I would bet on Kelly’s version for several reasons. First, the mainstream media’s reporting of the shooting war proved to be horribly slanted in the direction of (what most would think of as) pessimism. Second, if the successes cited by Rahim and the Marine (safe streets, restored services, etc.) were not occurring, the mainstream media would be telling us so. Third, I’m seeing few reports of demonstrations against the U.S. So, at worst, the Iraqis are giving us the benefit of the doubt. Which, to put it charitably, appears to be exactly the opposite of our mainstream media’s approach.


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