Veteran's Day: The Untold Story of the Iraq that is Flourishing

Michael Rubin writes from his travels in southern and Kurdish Iraq.
U.S. veterans should be proud about what they accomplished in Iraq. They planted the seeds but did not stick around to witness fully what they sowed. If they could visit Basra, Karbala, Najaf, Amarah, and Nasiriyah, they would be proud of what they would see — a society getting off the ground. Corniches, parks, and playgrounds; commerce; solar power to supplement the still-poor electric grid; and even electronic billboards advertising the latest wares. They would see Iraqis embrace religion, but still value independence from their neighbors (and, indeed, complain bitterly about Iranian arrogance and the corrosive effect of Tehran’s dumping of cheap goods). They would see children playing without fear, and learning without indoctrination. Iraq still faces massive problems (more on that in the coming days) but, most importantly, they would hear people express gratitude. It is well deserved.

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