New Glass

Badger 6[*1] , via Blackfive[*2] :

We descend off the bridge and that’s when you notice the change. When we arrived here the main broad boulevard that traverse the east-west route through the city, with the broad sidewalks had been narrowed down to two and sometimes one lane by concrete barriers, concertina, and debris.

Today the boulevard is wide open and people are walking the streets. Women in abayah’s, men in dishdasha, soccer attire, and a few in suits talking on their cell phones. Some people ignore our small convoy, some look suspiciously, and some wave.

There at the first corner, I see it. New glass. Someone has put new glass in a shop. Someone only installs new glass when they think it won’t get broken. New glass is confidence.

As we roll though Ramadi I see more stores and small shops open. And more new glass.

We pass what was once a hotel. I am sure the building is so badly damaged that it will need to be razed. I wonder if a hotel will replace it.

Halfway into the city we reach Saddam’s Mosque. The area is still a shambles here, but the road has opened up. There are also front end loaders and other heavy equipment moving the concrete and the rebar. Progress has been made, but it will take awhile to truck this away and start rebuilding.

Of course, we are losing in Iraq.  This is what losing looks like, I guess.

UPDATE:  This just in from the amusingly mis-self-named “Reality-Based Community:”  — all good news from Iraq is a lie.  Because they say so.  Via Confederate Yankee[*3] .  Darn that nefarious Karl Rove right to Heck!