When even the New York Times suggests that we might be winning, or indeed may have already won, the major part of the war in Iraq, that’s saying something.

When I left Baghdad two years ago, the nation’s social fabric seemed too shredded to ever come together again. The very worst had lost its power to shock. To return now is to be jarred in the oddest way possible: by the normal, by the pleasant, even by hope. The questions are jarring, too. Is it really different now? Is this something like peace or victory? And, if so, for whom: the Americans or the Iraqis?

The answer is, "Yes, all of the above."  Could it break down at a later date?  Yes; no peace this side of eternity is eternal.  But I would be extremely surprised if it breaks down back to rape rooms and all out firefights among Iraqis in some sort of true civil war.  (One militia a la Al Sadr does not a civil war make.)

This article, according to the bottom of the web page, appeared only in the local New York edition of the paper, as if only New Yorkers would be interested in it.  When the news agrees with the editorial page, it’s on the front page.  When it doesn’t, it’s relegated to a spot somewhere around the Parade magazine insert.  That’s what passes for "balance" at the New York Times.

Filed under: IraqLiberalMediaMiddle East

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