Energy Secretary in Baghdad: ‘Far More Stable’ Than In 2003, ‘People Are More Relaxed’

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman was in Baghdad yesterday to meet with Iraq’s oil and electricity ministers. The New York Times reports, Bodman “had a rosy view of progress here since his last visit in 2003”:

“The situation seems far more stable than when I was here two or three years ago,” he said in an interview in the fortified Green Zone. “The security seems better, people are more relaxed. There is an optimism, at least among the people I talked to.

Iraq is not more stable. The same day of Bodman’s visit, a U.N. report showed that 3,149 civilians had died violently in Iraq last month. Baghdad’s central morgue alone received 1,595 bodies in June.

As for Bodman’s sense that Iraqis seem optimistic and “more relaxed,” recall what one private contractor wrote in an intelligence brief to the U.S. military earlier this month:


Baghdad looks so exhausted these days and so do her people; the relentless violence, the lack of basic services and the scorching heat abolishes human desire to do anything or to even think of anything.

Sure sounds relaxing.