Thursday, June 15, 2006

Progress in Iraq

From Patrick McIlheran, a link to a document called Iraq Index, which is a sober and extensive accounting of how the reconstruction in that war-torn country is going.

The picture is complex, with some good news and some bad news. For example, the number of insurgent attacks has trended upward, but the number of fatalities among U.S. troops has been trending downward.

On an Index of Political Freedom, Iraq ranks at number four among Middle Eastern nations, behind only Israel, Lebanon, and Morocco. It is ahead of sixteen other nations.

Electricity generation is well above estimated pre-war levels.

Polling data is complex and interesting. For example, one poll shows 52% of Iraqis think the country is headed in the wrong direction and only 30% in the right direction (see page 42). But another poll shows 64% of the population saying the country is moving in the right direction. This figure includes only 6% of Sunnis, but 76% of Kurds and 84% of Shiites.

But perhaps the most siginficant result follows from a question that asks:
THINKING ABOUT ANY HARDSHIPS YOU MIGHT HAVE SUFFERED SINCE THE US-BRITAIN INVASION, DO YOU PERSONALLY THINK THAT OUSTING SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS WORTH IT OR NOT? (chart shows those who responded “worth it”).
The chart is reproduced at the below.

It shows that vast majorities of both Kurds and Shiites believe that the liberation was worth it. 91% of the former group and 98% of the latter group say it was “worth it.”

Only the Sunnis, the chief beneficiaries of Saddam’s regime, feel differently.

Thus, the likes of Cindy Sheehan, John Kerry, Congressman John Murtha, and Nancy Pelosi are on the side of the tiny minority of Iraqis who supported Saddam, and George Bush is on the side of the vast majority who wanted freedom.

It’s a stinging rebuke to the Democratic left.

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