Someone Believes In The Iraqis

A British Lt. Gen. on his 4th tour sends a dispatch.
I have drunk more tea (it’s very good, but not at all English) and broken more bread than I would care to recall. But I have enjoyed an honest engagement with Iraqis from all persuasions whose hospitality is humbling, and on each occasion that I return to this country have seen progress being made that rarely gets reported. Such as? despite the significant obstacles facing the Iraqi government (and we should bear in mind that this is the first democratically elected Government in Iraq), it has progressed forward on many reconciliation initiatives.
Some of these initiatives have faltered, but none have failed, and many have been grasped by all parties and dragged forward. It is real progress and we are helping this battered country and this bruised population choose where they wish to go to.
In July, a poll by the nonprofit International Republican Institute found that 94% of Iraqis said they support a “unity” government. Nearly 80% opposed Iraq being segregated by religion or ethnicity, and even in Baghdad where sectarian violence is heightened, 76% opposed ethnic separation. Similarly, according to a September poll, 97% of Iraqis said they “strongly disapprove” of attacks against Iraqi civilians, and 96% of Iraqis disapproved of attacks on Iraqi security forces.
These are the voices of that huge, so often forgotten, and silent majority of Iraqis who deserve a better life. They are good people who struggle and fall, but pick themselves up every day and continue to move on. These are people who deserve a chance.
He has a whole list of other signs of progress --the number of kids vaccinated and enrolled in school, the number of newsapers and cell phones, etc. But the most intriguing, because it really is a sign of cultural confidence:
There is now a record number of marriages taking place.

RTWT, curtsy to ninme's reader Rueful Red