February 22, 2007

WE GAVE THEM THE EASY JOB, OF COURSE THEY'RE DONE FIRST:

The End of the Alliance (BARTLE BREESE BULL, 2/22/07, NY Times)

Contrary to the grumbling among many Americans, they have done a lot of good work in southern Iraq. I have seen British troops on patrol in the marshes and countryside, watched grateful Iraqis rush to ask for their help in mediating tribal disputes or providing more protection from the militias.

Thanks to British oversight and protection, Saddam Hussein's cruel efforts to drain the country's southern marshes have been completely reversed. The marshes are now back to about 40 percent of their original size, with parts visibly flourishing. (With 75 percent of the water of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers now siphoned off by neighboring countries before it gets to Iraq, it is unlikely that the marshes will ever recover fully.)

When I visited a date palm plantation near Basra last year, Iraqi farmers told me that British aircraft had sprayed almost 100,000 trees with insecticide, helping their production to double since the days of Saddam Hussein's rule. (One of the men also insisted that I visit the old British cemetery in Baghdad. It was beautiful, he said: a sanctuary, a paradise. "And the gravestones are safe," he assured me. "I have removed them, so no one will destroy them.")

The British successes have also been political. In the south, Iraq's elections and constitutional processes have been far more successful in terms of security and turnout than almost anywhere else in the country.


The war was won in the South on the day the regime fell.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 22, 2007 12:46 PM
Comments

'Lord have mercy on the people in England for the terrible food these people must eat' - Frank Zappa

and, um , punk rock music..

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at February 22, 2007 6:17 PM

"Contrary to the grumbling of many Americans"

Huh? The right and blogs have generally been full of praise for other other countries in Iraq. This appears to be another lefty opinion asserted as fact.

Posted by: AWW at February 22, 2007 9:28 PM
« JUST THE TIP OF THE HEISENBERG: | Main | SO MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE SO MANY INSIPID THINGS NOWADAYS...: »