Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Juan Cole: Ten Top Myths about Iraq 2007

Juan Cole never misses a beat, posting right through the holidays. Today’s post: "Ten Top Myths about Iraq 2007."

The myths are listed below. Cole dispels each one.

10. The US public no longer sees Iraq as a central issue in the 2008 presidential campaign.

9. There have been steps toward religious and political reconciliation in Iraq in 2007.

8. The US troop surge stopped the civil war that had been raging between Sunni Arabs and Shiites in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

7. Iran was supplying explosively formed projectiles (a deadly form of roadside bomb) to Salafi Jihadi (radical Sunni) guerrilla groups in Iraq.

6. The US overthrow of the Baath regime and military occupation of Iraq has helped liberate Iraqi women.

5. Some progress has been made by the Iraqi government in meeting the "benchmarks" worked out with the Bush administration.

4. The Sunni Arab "Awakening Councils," who are on the US payroll, are reconciling with the Shiite government of PM Nuri al-Maliki even as they take on al-Qaeda remnants.

3. The Iraqi north is relatively quiet and a site of economic growth.

2. Iraq has been "calm" in fall of 2007 and the Iraqi public, despite some grumbling, is not eager for the US to depart.

1. The reduction in violence in Iraq is mostly because of the escalation in the number of US troops, or "surge."

(photo of Juan Cole: University of Detroit Mercy)

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