Iraq: The Change In Narrative
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in Iraq | War — Comments (4) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Today brings us this good news:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday that sectarian violence had dropped dramatically, and that he was considering a partial amnesty for detainees who had been "deceived" into joining the insurgency.
Mr Maliki said that "terrorist acts" including car bombings and suicide attacks had dropped by 77 percent from last year's high, and that Sunni-Shia violence is "closed now."
The Iraqi leader also said that 7,000 families had returned to Baghdad and other areas, without giving a time frame.
The prime minister's remarks are broadly in line with statements by US commanders claiming that the radical al-Qaeda network, believed to be the main perpetrator of attacks on Shia civilians which then provoke backlashes, has lost its footholds in the capital.
US military fatalities also dropped dramatically in September and October, and according to several tallies civilian deaths are down as well, although complete data on the latter is hard to come by.
Iraqi civilians in Baghdad have also said that it is much safer to move around the capital in recent months than in most of the past year, and have said that in some cases refugees are returning to mixed-sectarian districts from which they had been driven by threats from militias and insurgent groups.
There remain significant challenges, as the article goes on to point out. No one thinks or should think that we are out of the woods yet. But notice that tales of death and destruction in Iraq no longer lead the news. That alone should tell us something.