Saturday, April 12, 2008

The logic of opposites, part 3, I guess

My previous posts are here and here. In another op-ed today, Melik Kaylan writes about good news from Iraq. Emphasis mine except where noted.
The recent violence in Sadrist areas of Baghdad should not distract us from the big picture. The capital city of Iraq is immensely more at peace than it was a year ago.

This time last year, there were deep booms and the rattle of extended firefights from virtually all around the compass throughout the day and night. Such incidents are now a rare occurrence in a week.

"But we're losing the war! There can't be any good news from there! There can't be!" Sorry, war naysayers. Make way for this man:

...Ahmed Chalabi, the returned exile who is far more controversial abroad than at home...has stayed in Baghdad throughout the troubles, living in the Red Zone, touring the neighborhoods more than any Iraqi politician, and routinely incurring considerable risks. He could have lived safely abroad on his family wealth.

...Mr. Chalabi's unusual habit of direct contact with the populace made him the only realistic choice [to head the Popular Mobilization Committee (PMC)].

Chalabi has done much to increase the safety and comfort of residents; he tackles problems such as this one:

Much of the city's post-Saddam power supply was either hijacked or deliberately sabotaged, until [a committee] identified the problem. It demanded a military presence to protect substations, while arranging for the railways to transport diesel into the city. Electricity supply today is three hours on, three off, up from one hour a day last year.

That's quite an improvement! What an inspiration - do we work through hardships like these when we encounter them?

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