Carol Platt Liebau: From An Experienced Observer

Thursday, May 18, 2006

From An Experienced Observer

Writing in Commentary, Amir Taheri notes that the coverage of Iraq by the MSM has gravely disserviced the American people. He sets out five measures of social and economic health that indicate the progress Iraq has made:

(1) The first sign is refugees. When things have been truly desperate in Iraq in 1959, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1980, 1988, and 1990long queues of Iraqis have formed at the Turkish and Iranian frontiers, hoping to escape . . . Iraqis, far from fleeing, have been returning home. By the end of 2005, in the most conservative estimate, the number of returnees topped the 1.2-million mark.

(2) A second dependable sign likewise concerns human movement, but of a different kind. This is the flow of religious pilgrims to the Shiite shrines in Karbala and Najaf. . . .In 2005, the holy sites received an estimated 12 million pilgrims, making them the most visited spots in the entire Muslim world, ahead of both Mecca and Medina.

(3) A third sign, this one of the hard economic variety, is the value of the Iraqi dinar, especially as compared with the regions other major currencies. . . Although it is still impossible to fix its value against a basket of international currencies, the new Iraqi dinar has done well against the U.S. dollar, increasing in value by almost 18 percent between August 2004 and August 2005. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis, and millions of Iranians and Kuwaitis, now treat it as a safe and solid medium of exchange.

(4) My fourth time-tested sign is the level of activity by small and medium-sized businesses. . . Since liberation . . . Iraq has witnessed a private-sector boom, especially among small and medium-sized businesses.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as well as numerous private studies, the Iraqi economy has been doing better than any other in the region.

(5) Finally, one of the surest indices of the health of Iraqi society has always been its readiness to talk to the outside world. Iraqis are a verbalizing people; when they fall silent, life is incontrovertibly becoming hard for them. . . ..
Today, again by way of dramatic contrast, Iraqis are voluble to a fault.

Read the whole thing -- and ask yourself: How sad is it that not one person who writes for the MSM either figured this out, or was willing to write about it?


Blogger Pete said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Gee, no disclaimers from the left? Could it be that the beloved and most venerated MSM has neglected to inform our esteemed opposition of the reality in Iraq? What a shock!

Just goes to show - good news is not for public consumption - G.W.'s numbers might go up, and you know what a disaster that would be.

10:20 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Because when thousands of people are killed every month, it tends to outweigh the excitement about new small businesses opening up.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Meanwhile, electrical generation and oil production in Iraq is still below what it was prior to the invasion.

And no one in the MSM is reporting on the literally thousands of cars that don't explode everyday.

8:37 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

Here is a link to a NY Times article stating that there is in fact a middle-class exodus from Iraq, contradicting one of the points raised in the Commentary article.

9:17 PM  

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