Relative peace in Iraq

U.S.: Iraq quietest since '04 - Conflict in Iraq-

Violence in Iraq is at its lowest levels since the first year of the American invasion, finally opening a window for reconciliation among rival sects, the second-ranking U.S. general said Sunday as Iraqi forces formally took control of security across half the country.

My nephew-in-law, who is serving in the Marines in Iraq, wrote us and said the same thing.

I think our country is stuck there for many more years, though, until the Iraqis learn the habit of not hating each other 100% of the time. My wife, who knows some history, said she thought we were in Japan for a good many years, and Japan didn't have the civil war issue. [Actually we were in charge there seven years.] I think we have at least another seven years, since we're really just getting started on this new lifestyle thing in Iraq.

Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno:

"I feel we are back in '03 and early '04. Frankly I was here then, and the environment is about the same in terms of security in my opinion," he said. "What is different from then is that the Iraqi security forces are significantly more mature."

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