Wednesday, July 2, 2008


The streets of Baghdad are back in business. The teashops are busy. The shops and markets are bustling.

By Nicholas Witchell BBC News, Baghdad

After years when there seemed to be no end to the city's trauma, people are feeling more confident.
Why, even property prices in Baghdad are rising. According to one estate agent we spoke to, they have doubled in the past four months.
Yes, things are better in Baghdad.
But before we get too carried away, it is important to stress that the improvements, while real, are plainly very brittle.
As US officials readily concede, comments about "breakthroughs" and "corners being turned" are premature.
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A view from a coffee shop on how life is changing
The gains are fragile and reversible.
Indeed, as an influential report from the US Congress stated a few days ago, Iraq's security environment "remains volatile and dangerous".
It is just not quite as volatile and dangerous as it was this time last year.

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