Posting has been embarrassingly scant. What can I say: It's Summer (and any parents who are reading this, will know exactly what I'm talking about). I have been working on a rather rambling entry on Islamists in Europe (occasioned by Geert Wilders' dodging the Hate-Crime bullet for his film "Fitna"). Coming soon.
Meanwhile, Here's a really encouraging bit from the Long War Journal about the opening of a water treatment and distribution facility in Baghdad, paid for out of the Iraqi coffers. The potable water will be made available for free to many of the poorest residents of some Baghdad neighborhoods, who will come to collect their allotment at drive-through taps. As the article points out, the neighborhoods served by the facility have been havens for Sadr's Mahdi Army/'Special Groups' Shia goon squads, who have benefited from and contributed to the misery and squalor in which residents lived. Drinkable water was only available from local water-sellers, whose price structure was not especially favorable for the poor families of the area.
Here again, we see the bumbling incompetence of Sadr; even a murderous psychopath like Hassan Nasrallah has the sense to graft "social services" onto the Hezbollah terrorist organization in order to win support --and rocket launch sites-- from the hapless citizens of Lebanon. Sadr's felicitously foolish oversight opens yet another window of opportunity for the Coalition and for the people of Iraq. After all, the good grateful folks who gather by the water cooler may have a thing or two to say about the bearded blokes next door, the ones with all the fertilizer and ball bearings...
Electricity is proving a somewhat tougher nut to crack (though not as tough as some recalcitrant critics of OIF like to get exercised about), but that's in the pipe as well (as it were). Mix all this in with the accelerating progress on those not-so-elusive-after-all benchmarks, and it's getting much harder for even the staunchest advocates for a craven withdrawal to maintain a consistent position. In the end, the "anti-war" crowd's thirst for vindication through defeat may be the only one that's set to go unquenched.
May the coming months and years prove arid ones for them.