Success in Kurdistan


Michael Totten reports on the difference between now and the recent past:

A man named Hamid picked up me and Patrick just beyond the passport control booth. He was kindly sent by a friend on the Council of Ministers. "Here is your car," he said as he led us to his vehicle out in the parking lot.  As he drove us into the city I felt none of the fear and apprehension I experienced the first time I came here. Instead I saw considerable signs of progress. The first time I drove from the airport into Erbil I felt that I had arrived in a dodgy and ramshackle backwater. This time I felt – properly, I must say – that I had arrived in the capital of a serious and rising new power in the Middle East.

Nation-building is a hard and violent slog in the center and south of Iraq, and it might not ever work out. But in Kurdistan, in the north, it already is a reality. Massive new construction projects are literally everywhere. Most of those that had started when I arrived for the first time are finished, and ambitious new projects are well underway.

This we need to protect. As a priority.

(Photo: Michael Totten.)