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Good News from Iraq (Arthur's Finale): 13 September 2005

| 13 Comments | 11 TrackBacks

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.

11 TrackBacks

Tracked: September 13, 2005 9:59 AM
Excerpt: 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...
Tracked: September 13, 2005 10:03 AM
Good News from Iraq #35: 13 September 2005 from Good News from the Front
Excerpt: Here's another two weeks' worth of stories from Iraq that the great majority of news consumers rarely get to hear. We cover Iraqi Society, the Economy, Reconstruction, Humanitarian Aid, Security, and Coalition Troops.
Tracked: September 13, 2005 10:24 AM
Chrenkoff's "Last Post" from California Conservative
Excerpt: The blogosphere feels a great loss this morning. Made famous for his in-depth and highly-detailed "Good News from Iraq" roundups, Arthur Chrenkoff not only carries significant heft in the blogosphere, but his insightful reports also ran regularly in...
Tracked: September 13, 2005 11:28 AM
Arthur's e-mail from Mudville Gazette
Excerpt: One last hurrah:Dear friends It's time to say goodbye. The last post at http://chrenkoff.blogspot.com Also, my last "Good news from Iraq": Chrenkoff Opinion Journal Winds of Change But it's not the end of the series: A team led by Joe...
Tracked: September 13, 2005 4:06 PM
Chrenkoff Signs Off from The Jawa Report
Excerpt: Arthur Chrenkoff, who started the absolutely vital "Good News from Iraq" series, is now moving on. See his Finale on Winds of Change. His contribution is both an inspiration and an example, and we hope his future is bright....
Tracked: September 13, 2005 6:34 PM
Chrenkoff Signs Off from The Jawa Report
Excerpt: Arthur Chrenkoff, who started the absolutely vital "Good News from Iraq" series, is now moving on. See his Finale on Winds of Change. His contribution is both an inspiration and an example, and we hope his future is bright....
Tracked: September 13, 2005 8:30 PM
Assessing Iraq from Right In Raleigh
Excerpt: Critics of the Bush administration have the annoying tendency of not only failing to offer any plan of their own, but also changing their criteria for success when we embark on a challenge. In 2004 a friend and I wrote an editorial ....
Tracked: September 13, 2005 8:44 PM
Excerpt: The MSM* was permanently changed by the Vietnam war and its aftermath, including the Watergate scandal and the Nixon impeachment. The experiences of that time explain much of the agenda journalism of the MSM today, but I would submit that
Tracked: September 13, 2005 9:09 PM
Chrenkoff Has Left the Building from The Jawa Report
Excerpt: One of the greats has hung up his hat. Arthur Chrenkoff, the man who brought us his weekly 'Good News From Iraq' has called it quits. God speed. Good News From the Front will now fill the much needed niche....
Tracked: October 7, 2005 11:21 AM
incest video from JRB Technology
Excerpt: thanks
Tracked: November 2, 2005 12:31 PM
incest video from JRB Technology
Excerpt: thanks

13 Comments

Its gonna be weird without the roundup I must say. Very sad to see it go. On the one hand, the work being done especially by our military is unbelievable and this is one of the few places where you can grasp the scope of it. Same goes for the development and deployment of the IA, perhaps the most critical element of the reconstructions.
I have to be honest that the infastructure updates have frustrated me more than anything, but the information is still critical to have. (Anybody think it will take 2.5+ years to get a full 24 hours of power on the Gulf Coast restored? If it takes 6 weeks i'll be shocked). If nothing else its a great object lesson about government funded projects. When there is little supervision or consequence you can poor money out like water on sand and will get the same result if you poor a lake on it.

If nothing else its a great object lesson about government funded projects. When there is little supervision or consequence you can poor money out like water on sand and will get the same result if you poor a lake on it.

Why, do you suppose, is there so little supervision of our no-bid contracts in Iraq? Should someone be held responsible? Who?

(And, I suppose you meant to write "pour," although what you actually wrote supplies an interesting play on words, given the paucity of results on the ground.)

"Why, do you suppose, is there so little supervision of our no-bid contracts in Iraq? Should someone be held responsible? Who?"

George Bush is ultimately responsible, as i've said since the day the shooting war ended and i didnt see him on the phone with the CEO of G.E. asking them to go on a war retooling footing to turn out generators and electrical supplies like victory ships.

Where's all the other companies beating down our doors for some of that lucrative rebuilding Iraq action?

That may be the first time someone has corrected my spelling without committing a grammatical error. I am impressed.

I dont care who does it or how much it costs as long as it gets done. That hasnt happened, at least to date. You give somebody the job, let them run it how they want, and if they dont produce miracles you fire their ass and find someone who can. We've treated this reconstuction like a we were filling potholes in I-80, except that project would at least have a Senator pushing for it.

Mark,

the briefings aren't going anywhere. That's the whole point of GoodNewsFromTheFront.com

Only difference is that Arthur won't be doing them. But others will.

Oops, this just in: Bombers, gunmen kill 140 in Iraq
Suicide bombers and gunmen struck in a series of attacks in central Iraq today, killing at least 140 people, police said.

You know, you could probably take 'good news' articles from the Vietnam era, change the name to Iraq, and have pretty much the same results.

Unfortunate that the Bush supporters are so disconnected from reality.

Joe: thanks for the info, im easily confused ;)

Tom: Everything is Vietnam always. Keep thinking that. I cant imagine what having people like you and your MSM buddies carping defeatism would have done to our efforts in WW2 after fiascos like Kasserine pass. Good thing Vietnam came after WW2, wouldnt you say?

The left sees everything through the lens of Vietnam. The analogies began five days into Operation Iraqi Freedom and provide an easy talking point for the intellectually lazy to grasp onto.

I dont think Iraq is Viet Nam, but here im not sure the parallel is completely wrong. There WERE nationbuilding activities going on in VN, but they didnt address the central strategic questions of the war.

Similarly MUCH (though not all) of whats in the "good news" compilations doesnt address central strategic questions. For example, ANY reconstruction news out of the Kurdish north and the Shiite South is largely irrelevant strategically (not that we can stop - if we ONLY did reconstruction in the Sunni center the Shiites would royally pissed off) And reconstruction in Baghdad, that doesnt address the immediate key issues - security and electricity (and to a lesser extent other utilities) - is also of limited relevance. I mean repairing schools is nice, but its not going to reduce the insurgency in the next 18 months.

LH, you are quite right. It has been a strategic failing of our thusfar that we havent addressed the infastructure ('oiling the squeeky spot') with the energy and sense of desperation called for. I would disagree that the region is entirely relevant, keeping places like Basra and Sadr City placid is critical to our ability to focus on the Sunnis, as we found out during al-Sadrs uprising which pulled us away from Fallujah in the first siege, which was a major mistake. But you are correct that is basically moot as we are going to rebuild the entire country under any circumstances.

The Vietnam question is indeed relevant, but the problem is that for many liberals who harken back to the end of the war as their moment in the sun, they are imaging a history that didnt exist. The American defeat and withdrawal in Vietnam cost hundreds of thousands of lives. What did work in Vietnam was Vietnamization. It wasnt pajama clad guerrillas that took Saigon, it was North Vietnamese (well Soviet) tanks that rolled over the allies we abandoned and refused to sell arms and supplies to thanks. All thanks to our peacenick friends who werent happy with removing American troops but also passed a law forbidding selling ROV the weapons they needed to defend against the Soviet paid for onslaught. We might learn a lesson there for those who wish to leave Iraq soon, and another about the utility of an Iraqi Army given the time and resources necessary.

Iraq was Vietnam back when George Bush Sr. asked the Iraqi's to overthrow Saddam, the Shi'a revolted, and we said "sorry folks, we can't help because our Coalition won't stand for it, and what we meant was that some of Saddam's generals stage a coup." That Iraq was the Vietnam of 1974 when we said "sin loi" or whatever the transliteration of the Vietnamese phrase and had the helicopters push off the ships and boat people and everything else.

The Iraq where over 100 civilians died in bomb attacks is long past Vietnam. Do you suppose over 100 Shiite civilians will make the majority Shi'a say "gee, this is too much, let's surrender and bring Saddam back and with it a crackdown and mass executions that will make the over 100 dead seem like a minor setback."? Our military men and women have paid a blood price, but it is a blood price that was incurred back in 1991. The Shi'a have paid a blood price today, but our guys are standing shoulder to shoulder with them (remember the toll on American soldiers of last month and how everyone was despairing?).

Iraq is Vietnam if we turn our backs and wave "Salem!" and leave the Shi'a, the Kurds, and everyone else to their fate. If we chose not to abandon the Iraqi people a second time, there is no turning back -- whatever violence the insurgency is dishing out, Saddam had served up much worse.

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