Righty bloggers like McQ are all agog today over an AFP story about bright lights and juice bars in "Baghdad's relatively safe Karrada suburb."
The AFP story is about:
an oasis of generator-driven light; a colourful jumble of trendy juice bars, cosy restaurants, fruit shops, roadside eateries and fish vendors, where children play, families dine and lovers meet.and McQ is sure this is because the Surge has worked and the Fighting Keyboardists have carried troops and mainstream media alike to victory.
A couple of things the AFP story forgets to mention though:
Karrada has always been a relative haven in Baghdad, with many willing to pay its exhorbitant prices for a modicum of safety. Some violent incidents back in the Summer were a blemish on Karrada's record but it has always been the safest place in the city with "dozens of produce stalls, clothing stores and restaurants".
Karrada is the most affluent part of Baghdad, with the most expensive real estate and home to the city's university as well as government departments. It even has a direct bridge link to the Green Zone.
Yet all it can manage is an "oasis" and even that is closed by 10pm.
It looks like those who want to see this oasis as a city-wide victory are chasing a mirage after all.