Garrett Therolf reports for the LAT about his efforts to find "good news" stories about Iraq. Problems kept arising:
One line of inquiry concerned a bank branch in Amiriya, a Sunni Arab neighborhood on the west side of the capital that the American military said was one of Al Qaeda in Iraq's most important strongholds last year. [...] "The bank is probably one of the most important things in the neighborhood. Opening it told people the government still cares about you," Lt. Col. Dale Kuehl said when I called him shortly after he returned to the U.S. [...] Within weeks, I heard back from the military regarding Amiriya. The bank was no longer something the military was willing to highlight.
Meanwhile, I learned of another possible story: about a Chinese restaurant that had been opened in Baghdad's Karada districtby three laid-off steelworkers from China's Hubei province -- the first eatery here to be owned and operated by someone from outside the Middle East in years. [...] A few days later, the restaurant employees said they had changed their minds about the interview. They were too scared to raise their profile through a news story. And a Chinese Embassy spokesman said his office had persuaded them to return home, although they were still operating in recent days. "The situation is far too dangerous for them to work here," the spokesman said.
No doubt the Chinese embassy is just trying to undermine John McCain's Presidential campaign as part of the PRC's long-range plot to secure world domination for the reanimated corpse of Vince Foster.