Good News and Bad

What could be very important news came out of Iraq this morning: an agreement has been reached regarding the role to be played by Sunni Iraqis in drafting the country’s new constitution. AFP reports that the deal, which gives the Sunnis 25 seats on the panel that will draft the constitution–ten of whom are “advisers”–“raises prospects that the largely Sunni-inspired insurgency might be undermined as a result.”
In more good news, Mohammed Khalaf Shakar, also known as Abu Talha, who has been in charge of operations for Zarqawi’s terrorist network, was captured today in Mosul. This could well be more important than capturing Zarqawi himself. Shakar was said to wear a suicide vest at all times and to have vowed never to be taken alive. However, he surrendered quietly and without a fight. Once again, tips from civilians who detest the terrorists apparently led to Shakar’s apprehension.
I hope he’s being questioned by the Iraqis, and that they’re not just playing pop music for him.
The bad news is mostly on the home front. The press is touting a resolution introduced by four House members, two of them Republicans, which would require President Bush to announce a plan for withdrawing all troops from Iraq by year-end. Criticism of the war has reached a fever pitch among Democrats, who have aleady achieved a level of hysteria never seen–at least on the part of public officials–during the Vietnam conflict. It is hard to escape the sense that some politicians, like some reporters, look back fondly on their anti-Vietnam war days and would like to recreate the same “success” thirty-five years later. Let’s hope they fail.


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