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!
I'll bet all those whiney liberals living in Virginia, DC and Maryland would love to have that much power and water right now (after Isabel).
Wouldn't it be great if someone would start a daily half-hour "TV Press Review" that would point out the inaccuracies, distortions, math blunders, and outright lies in the evening news shows? I'd watch it every night, just for the laughs.
Oh man! Talk about stupid!
There is good news in Iraq, but it is we who have to tell the reporters about it!
That wasn't my post, it was a quote, in italics, taken from the article posted. But, it is true. But let's take your next statements one by one:
I just read on another thread that 1/3 of electrical potential was up and running,
Please link it or give me more of it's context. Could that just have been from someone posting or an article? And define "potential". Are they saying Iraq has the potential capacity to increase another 200%? Sure, it's a third world country, they all do. Does it mean they have the ability to do so or ever did? Again, I'd like to see that in more context because that's not what I've seen reported.
and then I just saw on Fox News that a small percentage of people in Baghdad have electricity for four hours a day,
I saw the same report but heard something totally different. I think you need to hear it again and pay more attention. The Fox report did NOT say "a small percentage in Baghdad" and yes, some only get 4 hours a day. That's more than they had before the war since Saddam, especially in Baghdad, used the electrical grid to reward and punish people to support him. And the 4 hours a day (most electricity right now is being used to keep businesses, hosptials and schools running...it's called priorities, check into it) is what the grid is producing.
and that's only the people who have generators or jerry rig some wires together
Again, you don't hear well. Let me give you the exact quote from Molly Henneberg about the "slow but steady progress" and that "In some cases, Iraqis have to be creative by buying a generator or by running electrical wire into their homes". The report did NOT say it was only the people who had generators or jerry rigged that have power as you contend.
They further said that all people in Iraq won't have electricity for years.
Again, selective hearing. Here's the EXACT quote from Mike Robinson, a Bechtel Engineer, "I would expect that it'll be a couple of years before they ever reach the level where everybody has all the power they want". That's a far cry from your perception that it meant "ALL people in Iraq won't have electricity for years". First, that's his estimate for FULL POWER for EVERYONE 24/7 like we have in the U.S. They didn't have that capability before the war or before 1991 because, as the report also said (again) that the infrastructure was totally neglected for years by Saddam.
And Fox News showed people washing their clothes in something that looked like a flood channel. I guess electricity in Iraq is one of the great mysteries of life these days.
They showed people getting running water for the first time, not the cleanest, but running water into their homes. And the video of the lady washing clothes was outside her home. The people you saw in the "flood channel" as you call it were looking at the hole in the water line, not washing clothes. While you get your hearing checked you might want to visit the optomitrist.
The water engineer said the "SABOTAGE was slowing them down along with the TOTAL DISREPAIR of the sewage treatment system and in 6-8 months they'd have it up and running for 1-2 million in Baghdad with increasing capabilities over time". Again, another system left to rot under Saddam and wasn't working anyway.
You really ought to pay more attention to what you are watching.
And here too, evidence of the remarkable speed and competence marking the reconstruction effort. Many of the sewage treatment plants had been gutted by looters. Huge pumps had been taken, and of those that remained many were useless, obsolete, or on their last legs. Assessment teams had to fan out over the whole damn country to assess such sites, reverse engineer the plants (proper blueprints and specs seldom being available), and order the parts. This was all done in just a few months! The 6-8 months cited is mostly due to the time it takes for pumps, generators and other items of large industrial equipment to be fabricated or customized and shipped.
I am in absolute awe of how relentlessly the coalition, and the military, and the contractors, and the Iraqis working with them, have kept all these projects moving along.
I've seen that myself in Mexico. Right behind the developed area with painted atractive buildings and carefully screened by landscaping.
They actually were washing children that time.
Read them both. Read further accounts from Iraq.
The Zogby poll verified accounts coming from Iraq for months, ignored daily by the press. The press jumped on the less detailed Gallup poll because it was not quite as favorable or revealing as the poll released two weeks previously.
FoxNews joined their critical peers shortly after the embeds left. Hyped negative and ignored successes. They've done some good work - Steve Harrigan, Greg Kelly back in Iraq, Bret Baer's (sp) reports from the Pentagon - but mostly did what their peers in the press did - followed the NY Times-Reuters-AP lies instead of listening to the troops and the defense experts. They were/are often wrong.