Did you read the latest NYTimes article about the flowering of the Iraqi free press? No? Ok, that was a trick question. There was no article. Nope, the media reports only bad news from Iraq lately. And yet, through the cracks, literally reading above the lines, we see a beautiful picture of the flowering of Iraqi society. Take a look:
Seem like a normal day at the bazaar? Look again. See what these Iraqis are doing? They’re reading. Independent papers. Lots of them–I count around 20 from this picture alone.
Now, to the Western reader that is not a big deal–we do it all the time. But in context, this is a huge step towards democracy and pluralism. Think of it: no more government minders, no official press office dictating news. No tyrannical regime scaring CNN from reporting on human rights abuses. Yes, this is freedom, and this picture will cause envy and yearning in hearts from Khartoum to Damascus. And that is very good news.