Even BBC Admits the Surge has worked

On Thursday, in a crowded public hall in the mainly Shia city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, the local police chief, Brig-Gen Ra'id Shaker Jawdat, bitterly denounced the Mehdi Army militia, accusing it of presiding over a four-year reign of terror there.

It was an extraordinary occasion. One by one, men and women stood up and screamed abuse at the militia, blaming it for killing and torturing their loved ones
Tell Stonker I found the fat lady... 8)
One city. Remains to be seen whether the whole country will get it together. It's also not clear whether it's the surge that caused the result, or other factors.

Also a bit puzzled by "EVEN the bbc" - they're in the most part pretty even-handed about this sort of thing, IMO.
Oh dear; the half arsed BBC once again eagerly rushing to celebrate tipping points and purple fingers as they have done so many times in the past. All the think tank stats I've read suggest we may be back to a 05 level of violence after two years of viciously effective ethnic cleansing. Nice. The tricky bit here is the the South. Wait until 1st Q08 and watch his Chubbiness. The regional dynamics remain dire and are trending worse. The fat lady won't sing on this one till 2015 and that's if we are really lucky.

In the long run, Iraq is a much more viable nation-state than Afghanistan, if simply for the fact that it has huge oil resources, whereas the 'Stan only has heroin.
In an age where we have probably passed peak oil, the possession of oil resources will not guarantee stability for the nations that possess them.
Far from it.
The smell of oil will, as ever but only more so, act like a rotting carcass attracting all the hyenas and armed vultures in the rest of the increasingly energy starved world. Possession of oil could become a curse under the ground on which that nation's people walk.

I think it was a Mozambique minister who after hearing the dire annual economic report of that impoverished country said, "Well thank god for small mercies - at least we haven't discovered oil."