Hit & Run

Pressing Iraq

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The Washington Post's editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, is just back from Iraq, and offers a view of the press coverage of the war and occupation. Hiatt is careful to tip his hat to Post newsroom colleagues who write the paper's bleak news-page stories, but notes that "To land back in Washington after a few days in Iraq is a jarring experience, and not just because of the 30-degree difference in temperature. Conversation [in D.C.] seems to dwell on measuring failure, apportioning blame, and calculating the effect on American politics and American power. In Iraq, the focus tends to be on what is at stake for Iraq and on how to achieve progress there."

Of course, what is at stake for Iraq is also at stake for Arab liberalism thoughout the region. That's what makes the emergence of a liberal Iraq important to the U.S. and its allies. Unfortunately, Mideast liberalism has almost disappeared from the American rendition of the Iraq story, as has the necessity of liberal and Coalition success.