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Is this good news from Iraq? There is now a housing boom in Baghdad, according to The L.A.Times. People who are coming back to Iraq, because they have heard the violence is down and the city is safe again, are running into a real estate boom. A 750 square foot house can cost you $150,000, a building lot can run up to $350,000. — The average salary in Baghdad is $400 dollars a month.
I suppose it's bad news for the poor guy trying to get a place to live for his family, it's good news for the guy selling his 750 square foot house or the small building lot in one of Baghdad's better neighborhoods.
What does it mean for us? A sign of normalcy or a sign of economic terrorism following years of actual terrorism? No doubt this can be made to look like bad news but I think a lot of Americans might say, "aha, sounds like the stirrings of a civilized society rising from the ashes."
Oh, by the way, in case you missed it, because the big networks probably were reluctant to report it, General Petraeus says he's still on track to bring home 42,000 American troops in July. Things could go bad, of course. It is Iraq, after all... but that will bring the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq to below pre-surge levels.
I realize five American soldiers just died in a roadside bombing, which is terrible. But it is also not so common anymore. Fewer Americans getting killed or hurt. Americans returning home. Baghdad real estate agents conducting bidding wars.
I know Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have tried to take credit for the success of the troop surge, claiming the Iraqis know the Democrats are coming into office to end the war so they've had to make peace with each other, but outside of Berkeley and Hollywod that is a laughable claim.
So how will they spin all this into bad news? Be sure to stay tuned.
That's My Word.
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