You may have noticed recently that Iraq has been appearing far less in the news than it did a year ago. Last month there were fewer American casualties in the country than at any time since the 2003 invasion.
Fighting has broken out in Nassiriyah over the past few days, but Iraqi forces have arrested 14 suspected militants after house-to-house searches. Iraqi national forces have also prosecuted successful campaigns against insurgents in Sadr City and Basra.
Meanwhile the the Iraqi parliament has passed a number of laws strengthening its rule, including a de-Baathification law, a pension law and an amnesty law. All this has happened since President Bush’s controversial ‘surge’ of 20,000 American troops.
So, is it time to acknowledge that despite all the nay-sayers, Iraq is getting back on its feet again? Has Iraq turned the corner at last?
Lubna from Baghdad has posted her impressions below. This is the thrust of her argument:
The security situation on the ground in Iraq generally and in Baghdad particularly these days is actually much much much better than it used to be before… The streets are actually much more safer for us ordinary Iraqis to go out and move around… I mean we’re still feeling scared and terrified each time we or one of our loved ones leave the house and go out, but less than before though.
As Karnie posted this morning, Charles Krauthammer makes a convincing case for why it has in the Washington Post.
If you think that yes, Iraq has turned the corner, why? Is it because of the surge? Are Iraqi forces finally taking the lead? Have the Sunni ‘awakening councils’ made a serious dint in Al Qaeda? Perhaps you think that Iraqi politicians are maturing into their roles as leaders of their country, finally finding their feet after dictatorship then war?
Perhaps you won’t think it’s turned the corner until a day passes without an Iraqi being kidnapped, shot or intimidated. Mitchell Bard from the Huffington Post says a report just out from the US Government Accounting Office shows that, measured against a set of goals the US Administration set in January 2007, Iraq hasn’t improved.
On the programme we’ll hear from Iraqis all over the country, plus bloggers making the case for and against. And of course from you too.