Excerpt Of The Day #2: The Media Is Downplaying What Has Been Accomplished In Iraq So Far

“The fact that more than 90 percent of the violence that dominates reporting from Iraq takes place in five neighborhoods in Baghdad, plus one of the 18 Iraqi provinces, is neither here nor there. The perception is that all of Iraq is lost.

… Last month, Iraq received the U.N.’s special environmental prize for reviving parts of the marshes drained by Saddam, thus saving one of the world’s most precious ecological treasures. Almost no one in the media noticed.

Also last month, the Iraqi soccer squad reached the finals of the Asian Games – beating out Japan, China, South Korea and Iran. Again, few in the West noticed.

In 2006, almost 200 major reconstruction projects were officially completed and 4,000 new private companies registered in Iraq. But few seem interested in the return of private capitalism after nearly 50 years of Soviet-style control.

Iraq’s new political life is either ignored or dismissed as irrelevant. The creation of political parties (some emerging from decades of clandestine life), the work of Iraq’s parliament, the fact that it is almost the only Arab country where people are free to discuss politics to their hearts’ content – these are of no interest to those determined to see Iraq as a disaster, as proof that toppling Saddam was a modern version of the original sin.

Iraq may still become any of those things – but right now it is none of them. When the real history of the Iraq war is written, posterity might marvel at the way modern media were used to manufacture that original sin.” — Amir Taheri

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