Video: The most relentlessly upbeat Iraq news segment you’ll ever see

posted at 9:00 pm on March 17, 2009 by Allahpundit

There’s nothing here you don’t already know, but knowing it and seeing it are two different things. Consider this a belated video companion piece to Dexter Filkins’s return to Iraq last fall for the NYT. Six months later, no story I’ve read better captures the amazement at how much progress has been made:

Abu Nawas Park — I didn’t recognize that, either. By the time I had left the country in August 2006, the two-mile stretch of riverside park was a grim, spooky, deserted place, a symbol for the dying city that Baghdad had become.

These days, the same park is filled with people: families with children, women in jeans, women walking alone. Even the nighttime, when Iraqis used to cower inside their homes, no longer scares them. I can hear their laughter wafting from the park. At sundown the other day, I had to weave my way through perhaps 2,000 people. It was an astonishing, beautiful scene — impossible, incomprehensible, only months ago…

Standing in the middle of the downtown, I found myself disoriented. I had been here before — I was certain — but still I couldn’t recognize the place. Two summers ago, when I’d last been in Ramadi, the downtown lay in ruins. Only one building stood then, the Anbar provincial government center, and the Americans were holding onto it at all cost. For hundreds of yards in every direction, everything was destroyed; streets, buildings, cars, even the rubble had been ground to dust. Ramadi looked like Dresden, or Grozny, or some other obliterated city. Insurgents attacked every day.

And then, suddenly, I realized it: I was standing in front of the government center itself. It was sporting a fresh concrete facade, which had been painted off-white with brownish trim. Over the entrance hung a giant official seal of Anbar Province. The road where I stood had been recently paved; it was black and smooth. The rubble had been cleared away. American marines were walking about, without helmets or flak jackets or even guns.

You’ll find the same spirit in this ABC segment. There’s still trouble afoot — read Roggio’s latest for new info about Iran’s infiltration of the country — but for the moment it’s a detail. With the situation this quiet, the hardcore anti-war contingent in Congress needs something else to busy itself with. I think they’ve found it.


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Comments

It’s been a tough battle in Iraq, and NOT A SINGLE DEMOCRAT HELPED US in this fight. NOT A SINGLE ONE!

apco on March 18, 2009 at 1:17 AM

Not only that, but the opposition of Democrats during this fight almost certainly got both U.S. soldiers and innocent Iraqis killed.
They have a lot of answer for.

Nice to see that Democracy is working in Iraq and that that tyrant Saddam is long gone.
U.S.A. under Bush–you done good!

Jenfidel on March 18, 2009 at 7:38 AM

Modern Turkey is a nation in which the (almost entirely mulsim) military is the supreme power. Ataturk, who was a muslim who loved islam (as opposed to a muslim who hated it?), understood that islam and modernity cannot mix (this of course would be news to Ataturk), so he fashioned Turkey a secular state (comprised mainly of muslims), with a very secular, very strong military (comprised almost entirely of muslims) and charged that military with maintaining the secular character of the government for when islam tried to take over the power of state, as islam is oriented towards doing. This was eventually codified into the Turkish Constitution, only to be removed around 7 years ago, to put the Turkish more into line with the EU’s requirement for civilian supremacy (though the military is still, de facto, the supreme power in the country). I will note that Turkey has been on another slide towards islamic rule ever since that Constitutional change (but has yet to turn into Iran).

As I’m sure you’re aware, the military had to disband 4 governments that were crawling with islamists and will likely have to do it again, as the current one has been living on the edge. The outstanding question is, “Will it?” No one knows.

Turkey exists as the best example for self-rule with democratic processes in the islamic world, but it is only that way because of the extremely secular nature of the military (again, comprised almost entirely of muslims, apparently the self-hating kind) and the military supremacy that was the real basis for its governing structure (see: Pakistan. You’ll have that in tribal areas with restricted means of command and control or information dissemination). To me, Turkey is a perfect example of the best that one can hope to achieve in terms of the self-rule of an islamic society with individual liberties – but that requires a strictly secular set of institutions (again, comprised of people who are almost entirely self-hating muslims) that remain charged with keeping an eye on the islamic influence in civilian affairs and power over the civilian governments. But these ideas are anathema to Western thoughts on proper government.

I’m not sure what comparisons you were thinking of, with respect to the Ottoman Empire. Two different worlds, really. Perhaps you could elaborate on what you were thinking about?

I just want to stress, I think that Bush did the right thing going into Iraq. That had to be done. If he turns out correct in turning Iraq into, even, a European style democracy then that will have huge … gigantic benefits for all (not least of which, the Iraqis themselves). I just don’t see islam, or sectarian arab and Kurdish ressures, allowing that (Because I don’t think that Arabs can be humans, what with being muslims and all). But Bush will certainly be viewed as correct in invading Iraq and taking down the Baathists. No question about that, at all.

FIFY. I don’t know what’s worse, your incessant inability to recognize that Turks, even the “secular military” ones, are almost entirely muslim, or MB4’s lack of knowledge of the muslim “world” as it were and incessant need to quote other people.

Also, conflating the Koran with Mein Kampf? Nice. Because those Nazis that systematically murdered 6 million people weren’t christians, they were Nazis! Isn’t equating political systems with organized religions fun?

flashoverride on March 18, 2009 at 7:40 AM

Perplexing ain’t it,the United States Military,
have created LIBERATION of Iraq as well as Afg
hanistan!

And yet,the Left are busy,rewriting all of Bush’s
terms,like ‘Occupation’,’Enemy Combatants’,and
now the newest,’Man Made Disaster’ to replace
‘Terrorists’!

Ya know,to people and thugs around the planet,
WORDS do have MEANING!

And,Liberals claim to be the champions of the little guy,
and human rights,

but once their in power,everybody,and countries are being
thrown under da bus!

Once the Liberals are in power,the only opinion is that of
a LIBERAL WORLD VIEW,and Team Obama is governoring in that
manner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on March 18, 2009 at 7:42 AM

With the situation this quiet, the hardcore anti-war liberation contingent idiots in Congress needs something else to busy itself with.

That’s better.

Basilsbest on March 18, 2009 at 7:53 AM

flashoverride on March 18, 2009 at 7:40 AM

What are you ranting about? Turkey is muslim. We all know that. I explained that Ataturk was a devoted muslim, showing that muslims took the secular positions. So what? Turkey is what it is, and we all see it.

And, islam is a political ideology with an attendant mythology. It demands the power of state, where ever it’s found. Turkey is one of the best examples of that.

progressoverpeace on March 18, 2009 at 7:54 AM

After democrats are thrown out, we ought to use the precedents they themselves set to destroy them.

I want show trials for every democrat who obstructed the war effort.

I want perp-walks.

They asked for it.

jeff_from_mpls on March 18, 2009 at 8:07 AM

I wonder, if you had the choice, would you prefer the legacy of Bill Clinton, or that of George Bush?

Clinton left the illusion of success, which was shattered quickly on September 11, 2001 and the bursting of the dot com bubble that revealed it was built on Enron and WorldCom-like fraud and deceit.

President Bush, in contrast, left in a media constructed cloud of disgrace, and now as the dust clears, his success grows apparent.

Clinton, the emergent miserable failure, or Bush, the emergent visionary who just might have turned the tides of history for the better?

jeff_from_mpls on March 18, 2009 at 8:12 AM

When I saw that report, I wondered if the hundreds of thousands of Christian Iraqis–who’ve been kicked out of the country by these Shi’ites we put in place–think this is “victory.” I also wondered why we’d call it a “victory” to unite greater Iran. The end of IED violence, when Christians remain under attack and must leave in droves and when Iran/Hezbollah’s Rafsanjani (who has a warrant out for his arrest in the Hezbo bombing of the Jewish Community Center and Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires) is rebuilding the country, is NOT victory.

Debbie Schlussel on March 18, 2009 at 10:02 AM

What are you ranting about? Turkey is muslim. We all know that. I explained that Ataturk was a devoted muslim, showing that muslims took the secular positions. So what? Turkey is what it is, and we all see it.

So as it pertains to Iraq, what is your point re: Turkey? That Turkey is anomaly wherein people who are religiously muslim act in a “secular” fashion, and Iraq can not be because…. ??

And, islam is a political ideology with an attendant mythology. It demands the power of state, where ever it’s found. Turkey is one of the best examples of that.

Where to start… You know what? Nothing I say will change your mind. It’s pointless to argue with you, because you think just like a liberal in this regard – you know so much that isn’t so. I will however point out that Vatican is a seperate nation-state and that Mecca is not.

flashoverride on March 18, 2009 at 10:03 AM

It’s mentioned in the video briefly, but I have heard rumblings regarding Northern Iraq, thanks in large part to tensions boiling over Kirkuk. Perhaps it’s been like this for a while but we’ve had other things to be busy with to notice.

Shall be interesting to see what comes of it, nevertheless.

Reaps on March 18, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Debbie Schlussel on March 18, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Soooo… Bush’s fault?

Love how it follows on so well from the post just above it, too.

Reaps on March 18, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Stick that in your hooka and smoke it you effite, liberal ” bring our boys home” America-hating, Obama-loving liberal douchebags.

epluribusunum on March 18, 2009 at 11:17 AM

I’d like to take this moment to personally thank our US Armed Forces for making victory possible in Iraq.

bluelightbrigade on March 18, 2009 at 12:17 PM

from Schlussle’s site,

I warned that we should not have democratic elections and hand this country over to Iranian-backed Shi’ites, and instead should have turned it over to a pro-U.S. Shah-like dictator.

Contrast that of course with this

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

So what you are saying, Debbie, is freedom for me but not for thee? Or are you saying realpolitik should trump freedom? I’m going to have go with W on this one; our realpolitik back the ’50s with the Shah is what built half of the Iranian mess to begin with.

flashoverride on March 18, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Fascinating how a majority of Iraqi’s don’t like it that they were invaded, put the US below Syria on Nations they like and yet still put democracy way ahead of other forms of government… you would think, that if the Left had an idea on things here, that Iraqis would shun democracy and immediately go back to a lovely dictatorship, right on the spot.

Perhaps the Iraqi people will change their view over time, just like the Left has towards National Socialism coming back in all of its forms under folks they like in DC. Strange hos much that is reviled as a word, and yet done as an outcome these days. So in a few decades Iraqis will have a chance to look over things and put a bit more perspective on things… however, looking at what is happening here, they might not follow our example and may have to offer us help on building representative democracy in a multicultural society that supports capitalism. Because we will need that the way things are going…

ajacksonian on March 18, 2009 at 12:24 PM

So what you are saying, Debbie, is freedom for me but not for thee? Or are you saying realpolitik should trump freedom? I’m going to have go with W on this one; our realpolitik back the ’50s with the Shah is what built half of the Iranian mess to begin with.

flashoverride on March 18, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Only a complete ignoramus on the Middle East (and a complete panderer to Islam), like Bush–who thinks that the Mid-East is the Mid-west, as apparently do you–would make such a dumb statement. In case you didn’t realize, “We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .” ain’t anything applicable to the Islamic world. Oh, and removing the Shah and giving Iran “free” elections resulted on a lot of great things, didn’t it? Ask the Christians and Sunnis of Iraq what kind of freedom they have. Ask them in ten years after we’re completely outta there (and so are they)–and it’s greater Iran.

Debbie Schlussel on March 18, 2009 at 3:31 PM

I’m so tired of always thinking and writing in exclamation marks.
 
I’m glad people are beginning to see the good that’s happening over there. I wish that everything didn’t have to be refracted through the party in power before people could be allowed to see it.
 
I’m sure some day we’ll all be interested to hear how it was that President Obama brought peace to Iraq.

CLaFarge on March 18, 2009 at 4:25 PM

True to historical form, though, both the Iraqi and Afghani leaders are telling us to F off and that the U.S. wasn’t much help anyway.

Wonder if they’ll put up a statue of Charles DeGaulle to replace the Saddam one that was torn down?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 18, 2009 at 5:32 PM

It’s been a tough battle in Iraq, and NOT A SINGLE DEMOCRAT HELPED US in this fight. NOT A SINGLE ONE!

apco on March 18, 2009 at 1:17 AM

Lieberman?

madne0 on March 18, 2009 at 7:09 PM