Skip to comments.Yes, there is good news in Iraq
Posted on 09/25/2003 5:17:31 PM PDT by teldon30
If the only pictures ever shown of Phoenix were of frustrated citizens waiting in gas lines, they'd have a pretty skewed view of what a great city Phoenix is. Similarly, if the only people the media ever spoke to about America were angry demonstrators in San Francisco, you might believe that America was nearing collapse. Even Parisians would object if all you ever learned about France was that its government was being faulted of the deaths of 11,000 people in a brutal heat wave there. Yet these are just the sort of one-sided pictures we are getting every night on TV about Iraq - unsettling images of death, protest, and anger from those seeking signs of "quagmire" rather than progress.
Major combat operations ended in Iraq just four months ago. Yet apparently - in record time - the U.S.-led coalition was expected to have reopened all Iraqi schools and hospitals, formed a governing council of Iraqi citizens, assembled an Iraqi police force, and gotten a substantial majority of the country under control.
In fact, we've done just that.
There's more good news to report - of oil pipelines being repaired, water supplies and electricity restored, even PTA groups being formed in schools all over the country.
Iraqis are now in charge of all government ministries. Local councils now govern over 90 percent of the cities and towns. Roughly 55,000 Iraqis have formed a police force or are at work securing Iraq's borders. And another 14,000 are being trained to join them. More than 150 newspapers are up and running in the country, offering Iraqis access to information from all over the world. After first resisting, even the Arab League has recognized the new Iraqi government, which could become the first democracy in its midst.
Many of you probably haven't heard about the poll, either.
Last month, in the first polling of free Iraqis ever done, the respected pollster, John Zogby, asked a wide rang of Iraqi citizens their thoughts on the U.S., the coalition's occupation, and Iraq's future.
Those polled didn't predict a quagmire. By an overwhelming margin (nearly 70 percent), they expected their country to be better off over the next five years. There was little love for Saddam Hussein. An overwhelming 74 percent wanted members of his regime captured and punished.
Hatred for the U.S.? While skeptical of America's ability to be a positive long-term influence, nearly 60 percent wanted U.S. troops to remain for one year or longer. Asked to pick which country they wanted Iraq to model its government on, the United States came in first. Sadly, half of those polled doubted democracy could exist in the Arab world, perhaps because it never has. (I tend to believe what George Washington once wrote: "Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.")
The first poll ever conducted in a free Iraq seems pretty newsworthy to me. The results, most of which were so contrary to expectations, might also be of interest to Americans.
It's curious, then, that it was not widely reported. A Lexis-Nexis computer search found that, in the past week, the Zogby/American Enterprise poll of Iraqis was mentioned in just five news articles and on only one cable news show. One of those articles was headlined: "Opinion Poll Underlines Iraqi Distrust of America." Another attacked the poll's credibility. By contrast, the words "Iraq" and "quagmire" were mentioned in over 150 articles and news shows in the past week - and in more than 750 media outlets in the past month.
Of course, Americans have a right to know about setbacks in Iraq. Very fortunate are those who undertake ambitious efforts and never encounter hardships.
But the people are poorly served when they also are not told what's gone right.
Every death is the loss of an irreplaceable human being. Yet it might be helpful to know that, in addition to the approximately 220 soldiers who died as a result of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11, perhaps tens of thousands were saved by the careful and extraordinary precautions taken by the U.S. military to minimize casualties before Operation Iraqi Freedom began. And maybe millions more are safe because we've taken the fight to terrorists in Baghdad and Kabul, rather than waiting for them to come to Boston or Los Angeles.
Fortunately, the America people are smart enough to sense these things instinctively. After all, haven't we all been taught since we were kids that there are two sides to every story? Still, it would be nice if we heard both sides more often.
Thank you for this thread. If the formerly secular dictatorship could become the first Arab democracy, there would be hope at last.
Thank you for posting it.
Even Parisians would object if all you ever learned about France was that its government was being faulted of the deaths of 11,000 people in a brutal heat wave there.
Paris claims only 3,000 can be attributed to the heat wave, the other 8,000 well -->
France claims that the recent European heat wave (search) was responsible for the deaths of 3,000 of its countrymen. But for most of the summer, it has been much hotter in the American West, and no one can find even one body attributable to the heat.
European cities are virtually devoid of air conditioning in large part because the energy to run them is so expensive. And why is that? Pressured by vocal environmentalists, European governments have levied energy tax after energy tax, with the latest excuse being global warming.
The mathematics of this problem are terribly transparent. In order to meet their self-imposed targets from the Kyoto Protocol (search) on global warming, European nations already have taxed energy, but they have not done enough. Consequently, even more restrictions are being proposed, especially by the German government. Unaffordable air conditioning will become even more expensive, killing more and more Europeans the next time the temperature reaches what passes for a few degrees above what is normal in Dallas.
Europe has effectively imposed a continuous blackout on air conditioning, and now it is paying the price.
The Iraqis want us to stay for at least a year.
They don't want an Islamist state led by a zealot.
Two important facts the world should have known before Pres. Bush spoke to the UN.
It's curious, then, that it was not widely reported. A Lexis-Nexis computer search found that, in the past week, the Zogby/American Enterprise poll of Iraqis was mentioned in just five news articles and on only one cable news show.
8 What Iraqis Really Think [Important. First serious int'l survey of the Iraqi people] ~ Wall Street Journal via Frontpagemag.com | 9/10/03 | Karl Zinsmeister
Will of the Iraqi people, hero Senator, ping!
If you want on or off my Pro-Coalition ping list, please Freepmail me. Warning: it is a high volume ping list on good days. (Most days are good days).
It was something stupid to the effect that even though there's a little good news, it's still a quagmire and Bush's fault.
I never knew that! Oh, the COMMENTS I have MISSED!