Iraq the Model
I have recently been to districts in Baghdad where a month or two ago I wouldn't have thought of going to. In the last week or two I've showed my ID to soldiers and policemen in checkpoints dozens of times. A few months ago this was considered an extremely risky thing to do -- especially for someone whose ID shows a name and profession such as mine....

Some streets that were virtually deserted a few months ago are slowly showing signs of returning to life. The reopening stores even include some liquor shops! There are two stores on one street that I used to shop that closed early last year when their owners received death threats from the insurgents and the militias. Yesterday I walked through that street and, to my amazement, I found both stores open and back in business....

And let's not forget that what has been achieved so far was achieved while many thousands of the new troops assigned to Baghdad are yet to arrive.
Michael Crowley