Monday, October 13, 2003

For all the soul-searching that these attacks rightly cause, it is important not to allow the doom-mongers to hold sway. Allied forces in Iraq are not facing a national resistance movement.

The terrorists are an unholy alliance of diehard Saddamites and foreign "jihadis" who have flocked to Iraq from across the Islamic world. Much of the country is quiet, with most incidents concentrated in a few troublespots.

Moreover, after months of squandering public goodwill, the Coalition Provisional Authority running Iraq has quietly notched up several successes. A new currency has appeared on the streets, heralding an end to the hyper-inflation that pauperised Iraq's middle class. Electricity generation has, at long last, returned to pre-war levels. Some 8,000 reconstruction projects are under way, ranging from refurbishing schools to laying water mains.

Iraq's Governing Council is gaining international recognition even among nations bitterly opposed to the war: it currently has a delegation attending a summit of 56 Muslim states.

Individually, these achievements may not count for much. Cumulatively, they undermine those who offer car bombs as their only answer to Iraq's problems.

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