DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ….There’s a nice story in the LA Times this morning about Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, who took control of the Iraqi city of Mosul shortly after an uprising that resulted in U.S. forces killing 12 civilians:

Petraeus then turned a city on the verge of a bloodbath into one preparing for an election on Monday, the first postwar vote of its kind in a major Iraqi city. He did it by convincing local leaders who have never known democracy that it’s better to be on the inside talking, and compromising, than outside shouting and throwing rocks.

The plan calls for a convention of 217 delegates, representing various ethnic, religious, tribal and political groups, to choose a 23-member city council to govern Mosul until Iraq has its first free elections, Petraeus said.

As with all news out of Iraq, both good and bad, it’s too early to draw any conclusions from a single incident. Still, Mosul is a huge city, riven with factions, and got off to a bad start under U.S. control. It’s encouraging to see that with the right touch, good progress can apparently be made.

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