Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Baghdad is Burning, Kurdistan Rises from the Ashes

A highly recommended read over at Michael Totten who is currently in Kurdistan (Kurdish Iraq). One of the major, yet barely covered, success of Iraq is the Kurdish north where every day is a day to build, to grow and become the jewel of Iraq.

As Michael's friend and guide put it, "There are no terrorists here." And very few American soldiers. Largely because the Peshmerga (Kurdish Military) and the Kurdish Security Organizations operate a strict, visible, yet relatively unobtrusive, operation. No one comes to Kurdistan without them knowing. No one comes without a strict security overview and several vouchers. While Kurdistan is largely Sunni, they want nothing to do with the Arab terrorists.

Michael has been to Kurdistan last year and he shows, through pictures and interviews, how much has changed and improved even since then.

As he drove us into the city I felt none of the fear and apprehension I experienced the first time I came here. Instead I saw considerable signs of progress. The first time I drove from the airport into Erbil I felt that I had arrived in a dodgy and ramshackle backwater. This time I felt – properly, I must say – that I had arrived in the capital of a serious and rising new power in the Middle East.

Nation-building is a hard and violent slog in the center and south of Iraq, and it might not ever work out. But in Kurdistan, in the north, it already is a reality.

Massive new construction projects are literally everywhere. Most of those that had started when I arrived for the first time are finished, and ambitious new projects are well underway.

Read the rest here

- May no soldier go unloved