Note: Available from Chrenkoff, as well as "WSJ Opinion Journal," Winds of Change.NET and GoodNewsFromTheFront.com. As this is my last contribution to the series, an extra special thanks to WSJ's James Taranto and Joe Katzman of Winds of Change.NET, as well as to countless readers and bloggers for your support and encouragement right from the beginning. Here is the entire series.
It's been almost a year and a half since I first started compiling the under-reported and often-overlooked stories of positive developments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Major changes and events have taken place in both countries. With the constitutional referendum in Iraq and a parliamentary election in Afghanistan still ahead, however, it is time for me to say good-bye. A change in my work circumstances will unfortunately prevent me carrying this forward or blogging at Chrenkoff; nevertheless, the trend has been set.
I have no doubt that good news will continue to come out of the Middle East and Central Asia - and that it is likely to continue to lose prominence to stories of violence, mayhem, dislocation and crisis. With the Support of The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, however, GoodNewsFromTheFront.com has risen to fill the news void and redress the imbalance of negativity. Future reports will be found there; other briefings may arise as well.
Big thanks go to James Taranto, the editor of WSJ's "Opinion Journal", who had the courage, imagination and foresight to provide a forum for this news. If the American press and networks across the ocean had more editors like James, I'm certain Americans news providers would face a far less disillusioned public. As they don't, however, it's a huge loss for everyone. Big thanks also to all of my readers for your support and encouragement.
I don't know what Iraq and Afghanistan will look like in five or ten years time, but I hope for the best. I hope that despite all the horrendous problems and challenges, both countries manage to make it through and join the international family of normal, decent and peaceful nations. If so, it will be all due to the amazing spirit and commitment of the majority of their people, and to the crucial help of the Coalition members both in and out of uniform. If that does indeed happen, many will wonder just exactly how these two countries, seemingly in the news only when blood flows, ever managed to get there. But you, who have read these round-ups for the past year and a half, will not be surprised.
So here's another two weeks' worth of stories from Iraq that the great majority of news consumers rarely get to hear.