HOW ARE THINGS GOING IN IRAQ?….Tacitus links to an optimistic report of how the occupation is going in the town of Fallujah:

In the turquoise-domed Abdelaziz Samarrai mosque, prayer leader Mekki Hussein Kubeisi used to rail against the presence of U.S. troops in this city. On Friday, he urged hundreds of men in ankle-length tunics to ?be patient? and not to tolerate people who resort to violence.

At city hall, the U.S.-endorsed mayor, Taha Bedawi, said residents ?have become much happier because they don?t see as many American Army vehicles on the streets.?

?The tension is reducing every day,? he said. ?We are seeing a change. People are starting to realize that the soldiers are not here to occupy Fallujah forever ? they?re here to help us rebuild.?

Generally speaking, I think hawks are off base when they complain that the media present an overly bleak picture of how things are going in Iraq. Overall, things really have been pretty bleak and confused for the past few months, and reporters are just passing along what they see. The hawks may not like this, but they shouldn’t kid themselves that things are really hunky dory and it’s only media bias that prevents us from seeing how great things are.

Still, it’s worth noting that there are plenty of positive stories about Iraq too. I linked to a couple of them last week, and this is another one. Overall, things are bound to be pretty dicey in the immediate aftermath of any war, and it’s important to judge our progress by a fair metric. This means not pretending that every American death is a sign of impending doom, but also not pretending that the media is deliberately hiding the joy of the Iraqi people at being invaded by a Christian superpower that they’ve hated for decades.

It’s hard enough figuring out the right thing to do even if we try to stay objective about the facts on the ground. We shouldn’t make things even harder by deliberately avoiding them.

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