Tuesday, March 07, 2006
What I Failed To Report
Reader Jim Henley makes an excellent point about some of my overly pessimistic reporting on the state of affairs in Iraq - like this post at American Footprints. I suppose I should append a "good news" segment at the end of each of these doom-and-gloom observations in the interest of balance. Here, let me try one out for practice:
The top U.S. envoy to Iraq said Monday that the 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime had opened a "Pandora's box" of volatile ethnic and sectarian tensions that could engulf the region in all-out war if America pulled out of the country too soon.
In remarks that were among the frankest and bleakest public assessments of the Iraq situation by a high-level American official, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the "potential is there" for sectarian violence to become full-blown civil war. [...]
The ambassador warned of a calamitous disruption in the production and transport of energy supplies in the Persian Gulf. He described a worst-case scenario in which religious extremists could take over sections of Iraq and begin to expand outward.
"That would make Taliban Afghanistan look like child's play," said Khalilzad, an American of Afghan descent who served as U.S. envoy to Afghanistan before taking on the post in Iraq.
But what this supposed "US envoy" didn't report (but Ralph Peters did) is that a sewage treatment facility was constructed in a Shiite Baghdad slum. Therefore, this cassandra-like, fear-mongering on the part of the defeatist "Khalilzad" is obviously misplaced, exaggerated and purely for domestic consumption. After all, what does the specter of "civil war" really amount to when compared with the amazing breakthroughs made in sewage treatment? Not much I would reckon - though I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the media (and most Iraqis) to grasp this.
In other promising news, work on the electrical grid could possibly return Iraq all the way to prewar levels in the near future, oil production is not as far under pre-war levels as it once was, nor are the revenues generated as far below pre-war levels as they have been and unemployment rates seem to have stabilized in the 30-40% range. Now that's progress!
If only our US envoys were fair, balanced - and not openly rooting for defeat - we might hear some of this good news as well. But what do you expect from East Coast elitist liberals like Zalmay Khalilzad and the New York Times. Speaking of which, if our efforts in Iraq fail, we'll know to blame Zal along with the rest of the media. After all, it's pretty clear that Zal is "seemingly hoping...that the whole thing devolve into a civil war."
Ditto for this guy in Iraq - decadently wallowing in his latte-soaked, liberal media-generated fantasies (h/t to Laura Rozen). Tell him to get our more, like our intrepid man on the scene, Ralph Peters. That Iraqi blogger might be surprised at what he would see if he just put down his copy of the Times.