Skip to comments.War And Reconstruction In Iraq Pay Off For America
Posted on 07/15/2004 8:14:26 PM PDT by Former Military Chick
Detroit News July 14, 2004
War And Reconstruction In Iraq Pay Off For America
Despite an unrelenting drumbeat of negative news, Iraqis and coalition forces make substantial progress in freedom, safety, health and development
By U.S. Rep. Joseph Knollenberg
Three months of relentlessly negative media coverage of the situation in Iraq may have left many here wondering whether our efforts in Iraq were really worth it.
While there were and are legitimate issues in Iraq to be covered by the media that may not put our country in the best light, that unrelenting drumbeat of negativity has obscured and ignored the substantial progress that has been made.
There are still many challenges, but as the turnover of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government has been completed, it is appropriate to look again at why we are in Iraq. To answer that, we must ask two questions: Because of our efforts in Iraq, is the United States more secure, and are the Iraqi people better off?
Lets be clear Saddam Hussein and his regime were a destabilizing force in an unstable region. They clearly harbored hostile intentions against the United States, invaded two other countries, used biological and chemical weapons against the Iranians and Kurds, harbored known terrorists, financially rewarded homicide bombers in Israel, refused to comply with United Nations mandates and on and on.
We could no longer turn a blind eye. There was no better choice but to oust Saddam and no other country capable.
Yes, it is indisputably better for the United States that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power.
This leads to the second question: Are the Iraqi people better off?
While the threat of terrorist attacks remain, Iraqis no longer have to live in fear of a regime that murdered hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Iraqis during its reign of terror. That alone makes the situation better.
But the improvements go beyond that. All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open as well as all 240 hospitals and more than 1,200 health clinics. We have helped rehabilitate more than 2,500 schools. The countrys infrastructure, neglected for decades under Saddam, is being rebuilt. Iraqi oil is filling the countrys coffers, not building palaces. There is an endless list of achievements.
You dont have to take my word for it. In fact, you can read many first hand accounts of the situation in Iraq from Iraqis themselves on their Internet blogs.
The authors of these blogs speak frankly about the challenges and struggles they face every day living in Iraq. But they also write with an optimism and hope about the future of their country that rarely surfaces here in the mainstream media. I encourage you to take a minute to see what Iraqis are really saying about their own country.
We should also consider the actions of Iraqi-Americans here. Despite the terrorist attacks and unsettled nature of Iraq, they have not been scared away. Iraqi-Americans are actively working on a large-scale program to promote goodwill in Iraq. They have confidence that they and their fellow Iraqis will succeed in creating a safe, free and democratic Iraq. Im proud to be working with this group, and I hope more will join to make this program a success.
Questioning some of our strategic decisions and other actions in Iraq is not a bad thing. It is the sign of the healthy democracy that we have in our country.
Mistakes have been made (in fact, its hard to envision a scenario where mistakes wouldnt be made), but goals have been realized as well.
As power is turned over to the interim Iraqi government, we must also see that our efforts and sacrifices there are worthy of our great nation.
It was an effort worthy of our great nation to remove the odious regime of Saddam Hussein. It is an effort worthy of our great nation to help rebuild Iraq and fight the terrorists who are trying to destabilize it. It will have been an effort worthy of our great nation to leave Iraq a stable and democratic country.
We are engaged in a race against time will the ability of the terrorists to carry out their brutal, but strategically insignificant, attacks outlast our will to finish the job in Iraq?
I believe the American people are made of sterner stuff than our enemies give us credit for, that we see the value and possibilities that a free Iraq offers this country and the world.
Let us recognize the challenges that remain, but steel ourselves to see this through to a successful end. And once and for all, we will demonstrate to our enemies that we have the fortitude to make this world a better place for all.
U.S. Rep. Joseph Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills, represents Michigans Ninth Congressional District.
excellent= thanks for the post
Great to hear the positive side occasionally.
Thanks for the ping!
The media STILL doesn't understand PING!
Former Military Chick : Excellent Find!
Thanks for the kind words. I agree it is nice to read good news. Recent EB articles have been well less then kind.
I have the greatest hope for these people in their quest for freedom. It is never easy, as anyone in our military and their families can attest to.
A politician with some common sense and I've never heard of him. Hope he gets more vocal and that changes.
Great post. This is good stuff. It was probably hard to find.
For finding it, you win this link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/books/electivedecisions.shtml
It can't get any better than this, a bump from my beloved.
Thank you Chris. Not only is FR a way to chat with like minded friends we win things. Who would have thunk?
This won't get any media attention but it's an encouraging sign to hear a public official say something positive about Iraq.
You know it may not, but, you can always send it to your paper as a guest commentator and perhaps they will print it for your community. Just a thought.
Thanks for the ping.
If I may suggest
IRAQ THE MODEL
Iraqi Bloggers Central
An American Looks at Iraq and the Iraqi Bloggers
From these you can link your way arond to some very good sites about Iraq and the mideast. Note: not all Iraqi/mideast bloggers are pro-American, but it will give you an idea of what's really going on on the ground there.
Bumpin' the truth