The American Enterprise

The war is over, and we won.(postware reconstruction in Iraq)

Your editor returned to Iraq in April and May of 2005 for another period of embedded reporting. Compared to my earlier tours during 2003 and 2004, I could immediately see improvements. The Iraqi security forces, for example, are vastly more competent, and in some cases quite inspiring. Baghdad is now choked with traffic. Cell phones have spread like wildfire. And satellite TV dishes sprout from even the most humble mud hovels in the countryside.

The Iraqis themselves are encouraged. In a nationwide scientific poll in late April, 67 percent said "Iraq today is generally headed in the right direction;" 20 percent answered "wrong direction." Asked whether "security" has grown better, worse, or the same in recent months, 67 percent of Iraqis said "better. …

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