I’ve realized recently that I have no real idea of what’s happening in Iraq. On the one hand, we have bubbly optimists like Chrenkoff. On the other, people like Wall St Journal reporter Farnaz Fassihi, whose email is getting wide circulation.
The Iraqi bloggers I read (generally) sound more optimistic than despairing, which is good. It’s clear to me that the US needs to stay the course, as bad as that may well become, because pulling out would be an unmitigated disaster. Al Qaeda got a huge boost from the (US backed) Islamist victory over the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Withdrawing from Iraq would give them another huge boost, even if they’ve lost in Afghanistan to the US.
[Update: several people have asked, how can you believe that "it's anything but *cked up over there?" My answer is reading the Iraqi blogs, it just doesn't seem that what they're witnessing is either the doom and gloom of the left wing press, or the sunshine of the right-wing press. Its really hard for me to judge what's really going on at any sort of macro level.]