For the second day in a row, the NY Times has a story highlighting positive developments in Iraq. Here are the key grafs:
As a result, for the first time in nearly two years, people are moving with freedom around much of this city. In more than 50 interviews across Baghdad, it became clear that while there were still no-go zones, more Iraqis now drive between Sunni and Shiite areas for work, shopping or school, a few even after dark. In the most stable neighborhoods of Baghdad, some secular women are also dressing as they wish. Wedding bands are playing in public again, and at a handful of once shuttered liquor stores customers now line up outside in a collective rebuke to religious vigilantes from the Shiite Mahdi Army.
Keeping Shawn’s caution in mind, these are nonetheless great developments, and we should all hope and pray they continue.
Meanwhile, the McCain camp is claiming a share of the credit for this success, and deservcdly so. Say what you want about McCain, but for years he had been calling for more troops, and he did so again just before Bush announced the new strategy. McCain became closely identified with the surge, and stuck with his position, despite being mocked when he visited Iraq and said things were improving. Even as the chattering class chattered about how his stong support for the surge was erroding his poll numbers among independents, McCain stood firm in his belief that the surge was the correct course of action. If any candidate benefits from improvements in Iraq, it should be McCain.
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