Things Are Getting Better and Worse in Iraq

Iraq is a perfect example of two things being true at once.

The two things are... things are getting better and things are getting worse.

The getting better part is all the stuff Iraqis were complaining about right after the war — water, electricity, security, the economy and business conditions.

That stuff is getting better day-by-day, and Iraqis are benefiting from them. They have money in their pockets, They can buy things that are suddenly getting into the country and are up for sale.

At the same time, things are getting worse. Al Qaeda (search) types are bragging on Al-Jazeera (search) that they have thousands of jihadis (search) in Iraq intent on killing Americans and blowing up institutions like the Red Cross and the U.N.

So what are we supposed to do? For one, forget getting help. France and Germany don't want to help precisely because it's too dangerous. When everything is fine, they'll rush in to help but not now.

Second... we have to realize that fighting the terrorists in Iraq is now job one.

The Iraqis can take care of a lot of their civilization problems. We have to work on getting the Iraqi army and police up and running so they can go after wild-eyed Saudis who think this is Afghanistan and coalition forces the Red Army (search).

We have to protect our people better, and we have to prevail. This is a crucial place. Usama bin Laden wants it, because he can laugh attacks on Saudi Arabia from there. If the Saudis go down, and he has Iraq... you can kiss your world economy goodbye.

Yes, things are bad and yes, things are good. Let's get more of the latter and less of the former.

That's My Word.

What do you think? We'd like to hear from you, so send us your comments at Some of your e-mails will be featured on the air or on our site.

Looking for previous My Word columns?
  Click here!