British Prime Minister Tony Blair is today visiting Basrah, following his family break at Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt, where he also had talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Amongst other things, Mr Blair reiterated (quite correctly, in my view):
"If we had backed away...we would never have been able to confront this threat in the other countries where it exists."
"Iraq is now taking shape with your help and guidance in a way that would have been unthinkable a year ago."
The trick will be to keep and grow the support for this action amongst the Iraqi population; it is difficult to evaluate what is the real situation from a distance, but I remain cautiously optimistic.