Some of you may have heard that the redoubtable Arthur Chrenkoff who has done such an amazing job of compiling information from Iraq and Afghanistan and presenting it clearly in his Good News from Iraq and Good News from Afghanistan columns, is about to stop blogging. He didn't run out of good news, but apparently he decided to put his writing skills to work to earn a better living, which put him in a position of prominence where his blogging activity was no longer appropriate.
Chrenkoff's meticulous fact-finding and common sense analysis of events will be missed. He was remarkably successful of cutting through the spin and selective reporting to find essential facts from the original sources and explain them clearly. It's a pity that such excellent work in the blogosphere couldn't earn him the kind of rewards which he certainly deserved.
The good news is that he's passed the job of compiling the overlooked news from Iraq and Afghanistan on to a team of experts - it takes five plus people to do what he was doing by himself - who have started the new site Good News from the Front. The crew compiling information there includes people from the pro-democracy site Winds of Change, from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and from Iraq the Model for info direct from inside Iraq. The first two are basically informational and non-partisan - much more neutral than Chrenkoff was, though he never let his politics obviously influence his objectivity. The last is pro-Iraqi first and sympathetic to the US, but one of the few really good reliable sources for direct Iraqi interpretation of events within the country.
All of these sites are well worth checking out. Good News from the Front is an excellent starting point if you want to know more about what's really going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. They will be continuing Chrenkoff's work with regular updates on the minutiae of life, war and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. The other sites are very useful if you want to go into more - even exhaustive - depth. There's some really well researched and extraordinarily detailed information taken straight from primary sources in the Middle East on these sites.