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Iraks nye virkelighet drukner i flommen av dårlige nyheter. Mediene bryr seg sjelden om å beskrive situasjonen for vanlige irakere. Det finnes heldigvis unntak. David Ignatius forteller hva han ser i Bagdad og sammenligner med tidligere besøk.

«The cascade of bad news from Iraq leaves a returning visitor unprepared for a small surprise here: Compared to six months ago when the war ended, the Iraqi capital is cleaner and more orderly. The new Iraq is still a distant dream, but the work of rebuilding has at least begun.»

«The road from the Baghdad airport into the city, which a few months ago was a gauntlet of daily attacks, is now a bit safer. Electricity in the city re2_kommentars spotty, but it is now on more than off. There are still lines at gas stations, but they are shorter. Stores are stocked with goods, and restaurants that used to close at dusk for fear of bandits now stay open until 9pm.»

Julie Flint rapporterer om framskritt på andre områder.

«Approximately 85 percent of primary and secondary schools have reopened. Some 55,000 Iraqis have enrolled in law-enforcement services and an increasing number of Iraqi policemen are on the streets, directing traffic, guarding buildings and occasionally enforcing the law.»

Og, enda viktigere, statsterroren er borte:

«It is worth stating the obvious, so momentous is it: For the first time in almost half a century, Iraq has no executions, no political prisoners, no torture and no limits on freedom of expression. Having a satellite dish no longer means going to jail or being executed. There are over 167 newspapers and magazines that need no police permit and suffer no censorship, over 70 political parties and dozens of NGOs. Old professional associations have held elections and new associations have sprung up. People can demonstrate freely ­ and do.»

Men landet trues av krefter utenfra som ikke ser seg tjent med et demokratisk Irak. I helgen rapporterte flere medier at det iranske prestestyret infiltrerer Irak med agenter som oppfordrer til uro og opprør.

«Iran has dispatched hundreds of agents posing as pilgrims and traders to Iraq to foment unrest in the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala, and the lawless frontier areas.» Mer om dette…

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