This seven minute US news report portrays a much improved situation in Iraq. The important thing is that it's not a Fox News report - it's from CNN; a network not known for its enthusiasm for Bush's Presidency:
There can be little doubt now that the 'Petraeus surge' is delivering real progress. While the situation in Iraq remains very difficult there have been substantial reductions in deaths amongst the Iraqi population and amongst the US forces. A feature in Saturday's Times looked forward to the day when there would be no deaths in Iraq. God willing it will come soon.
A leader in The Times notes that October "was the best month for 18 months and the second-best in almost four years" in terms of deaths and injuries. It concludes:
"There are many valid complaints about the manner in which the Bush Administration and Donald Rumsfeld, in particular, managed Iraq after the 2003 military victory. But not to recognise that matters have improved vastly in the year since Mr Rumsfeld's resignation from the Pentagon was announced and General Petraeus was liberated would be ridiculous. Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have to appreciate that Iraq is no longer, as they thought, an exercise in damage limitation but one of making the most of an opportunity. The instinct of too many people is that if Iraq is going badly we should get out because it is going badly and if it is getting better we should get out because it is getting better. This is a catastrophic miscalculation. Iraq is getting better. That is good, not bad, news."
My big hope is that America won't now pull its troops out too quickly. As President Bush said last week: America needs to show that it is more determined than freedom's enemies. The surge proved that it has been more determined. Rapid troop withdrawals could now easily undo the progress of recent months. The situation is better but still desperately precarious.