A pity, though; it's why so many people think that Iraq is spiralling completely out of control. Sure, the place is no Eden. I don't doubt that there are parts of the country that are pretty anarchic. However, it's a wartorn nation recovering from the long reign of an extremely brutal dictator. Gradually, the processes of constructing a free nation are rolling ahead. As mentioned above, the constitutional drafting is coming along well. The first free broadcasting service has commenced transmission. The elected government has started a process of far-reaching economic reform. Idle industrial plants are about to be revived. An Iraqi trade delegation has made its way to the United Kingdom. Oil production has increased slightly, and the Iraqi government has released tenders for development work in the oil industry for the first time. Mobile phone licences are about to be auctioned. Massive external and internal investment is being poured into improving Iraqi infrastructure. The Iraqi government is cracking down across the country on those who are stealing power from the national grid. Iraqi academics are in line for a pay rise. The southern marshes that Saddam drained in reprisal for the marsh dweller's support of the American invasion have been reflooded and are rapidly recovering. And there's plenty more.
All this stuff wouldn't exactly make the spuds drop off your fork, now, would it? However, the success or failure of Saddam's toppling rests in the above details. Not in showy suicide bombs. Not in sabotaged oil pipelines. Not in downed choppers or burnt out Hum-Vees or smouldering hide-outs or unearthed weapons caches. Or even rescued hostages. We should all be made aware of the above tedious machinations as well as the flash-bang grenade news snippets that are fed to us, because the boring stuff is the true guage of how Iraq is coping post-Saddam. Shame these critical facts don't make good copy. Watch the news and you'll be forgiven for thinking Iraq's a complete balls-up. Keep an eye on Chrenkoff and you might just start to think that a free society with strong civilian institutions is being constructed there instead.