Kevin McCullough

In addition much of the formerly centralized organization of the economy has been turned over to private sector endeavors and while some government sectors have seen a spike in unemployment, private sector unemployment is hovering around 30%. (High to you and me, but still better than in the Saddam era.)

There will be many who will read this latest round of good news and dismiss it out of hand. But thinking people will understand that this growth did not happen in a vacuum.

Are there still significant challenges before the Iraqis? Yes, and there will be for decades - but the violence so reported in the daily news grind does not begin to give one even a slight glimpse of the entire picture.

The militias need to be disbanded. Iran needs to keeps it nose out of the Shia population, and the Saudis out of the Sunnis. But while these debates are occurring don't miss what's happening behind the scenes. Every single day 25 million Iraqis are going to jobs, coming home, paying bills, putting some into savings, educating their children - and living in freedom.

Those who still disagree will argue that their freedom was not worth the cost in the numbers of lost American lives. And they do so dishonestly - knowing that we've lost fewer lives in the Global War on Terror than in any other armed conflict America has fought in (based on the numbers of American citizens and the percentage serving during war time).

But some things are more valuable than life, and freedom is just such a treasure. Honorable people have always recognized this, and in turn expressed tremendous gratitude for the sacrifice made. Dishonorable people have always preferred tyranny to freedom, and the most dishonorable believe in freedom only for themselves.

The Global War on Terror has been and will continue to be a tough, log slog, in Iraq the news has not been the best in recent months. Yet there is good news, and it deserves to be noted.

Iraq will succeed. The terrorists will fail. And the longer the arm of freedom can reach, the more both statements will be proven true.

And in an economic sense - we need no greater proof.