Round up here. Also words from Iraq news columnist Arthur Cherenkoff this a must read.
few months later he was back in Basra, a city he fell in love with. He wrote to me that his family didn't want to let go back to Iraq, but he felt he had to. He knew there were risks - he has been threatened before - and initially he was considering doing his research there incommunicado. But in the end he decided not to hide away, and even openly blog while in Iraq on his Red Zone blog.
Here's a key graf from his NYT piece:
Unfortunately, this is precisely what the British aren't doing. Fearing to appear like colonial occupiers, they avoid any hint of ideological indoctrination: in my time with them, not once did I see an instructor explain such basics of democracy as the politically neutral role of the police in a civil society. Nor did I see anyone question the alarming number of religious posters on the walls of Basran police stations. When I asked British troops if the security sector reform strategy included measures to encourage cadets to identify with the national government rather than their neighborhood mosque, I received polite shrugs: not our job, mate.
Here's a quote from the Washington Times op/ed:
We muddle through, but the terrible tendencies remain — as revealed in a stunning installment from Iraq of the blog In the Red Zone by journalist Steven Vincent. Mr. Vincent reports from Basra, where he says crooks and corruption are the problem, not terrorism.