Time to Tell a Different Story

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Time magazine has been one of the most persistent critics of U.S. policy in Iraq. It was Time that featured a cover story about Iraq entitled, “Mission Not Accomplished.” So readers were probably shocked, if not a little confused, to find an article in this week’s issue that practically bursts with good news from Iraq.

While conceding that the Sunni triangle around Baghdad remains a very dangerous place, Time reporters visited 30 towns in the north and south of the country and found that folks there seem pretty happy about Iraq’s liberation. “When people in the north and the south were asked whether life has improved since the war, the answer, in Arabic, often came automatically, ‘Tab’an ahsan’ (meaning, ‘Of course, better!’)”

Reporters found that electrical output is much improved over the days before the war. Schools are open and functioning at least up to pre-war standards. And in both north and south, commerce is booming, as goods flow in from neighboring Turkey and Kuwait.

There are still a lot of complaints, but most of the 600 people interviewed for the story see better times ahead. One former medical student, who now sells mobile phones in Basra, spoke of the struggle to create a new, free Iraq: “We know that every birth requires pain.”

And that’s the Asman Observer.