A lot of people have commented with questions asking me about the truth about Baghdad. First there is no ever lasting truth in Baghdad. Is this sudden relative calm a lasting change or a lull before the storm? Nobody really knows.
The violence has dropped to levels of 2005, I still wake up to shooting outside the windows and we hear explosions that shake our desks or sometimes are just a distant boom. Now bombs are killing one or two in Baghdad, it has been a long time since they've killed tens or hundreds. Thank God for any moment of peace for Iraqis.
But the future is unsure. In the south the Shiite battle between two historic rivals, the Hakims and the Sadrists, continue. They vie for power and popularity among the Shiite Iraqis. Diyala is murky for us, but the last I gleaned the villages between Baqouba and Baghdad were a maze of Al Qaida strong-holds. They are encased on one side by the Shiite Mahdi Army-controlled town of Khalis and on the other side the newly anti-Al Qaida elements of the Sunni insurgent group the 1920 Revolution Brigade.
It is unclear what the side effects of the growing former insurgent groups turned concerned citizens will mean for the future of Iraq. Is this reconciliation or a band-aid until the U.S. troops leave. Then both Shiite Arabs and Sunni Arabs can legally carry arms and the battle may be yet to come. Some of the new-found quiet in Baghdad is related to the cleansing of neighborhoods and the division will last for a long time to come. The blast walls are high and divisive, even when painted with pretty pictures. Trust is gone; trust in your neighbor, your countryman and your government. It will take a long time to recover.
What is the truth? Right now we don't know. No one does, we can only watch and see.