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May 12, 2004

In Iraq

  • Over 400,000 Iraqi children now have up-to-date immunizations.
  • School attendance is up 80% from levels prior to the war.
  • Over 1,500 schools have been renovated and cleared of weapons previously stored there.
  • The port of Uhm Qasar has been refurbished so grain can be off-loaded from ships faster.
  • The country has begun exporting oil again--some 2 billion barrels a month.
  • Over 4.5 million people now have clean drinking water for the first time ever.
  • The country now produces 2 times the electrical power it did before the war.
  • 100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to only 35% before the war.
  • Sewer and water lines have been installed in every major city.
  • Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.
  • Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.
  • Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side with US soldiers.
  • Over 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever
  • An interim constitution has been signed by every major faction of Iraqi society and culture.
  • Girls are allowed to attend school throughout the country.
  • Textbooks that don't lionize Saddam are in the schools for the first time in 30 years.
  • Ideas of freedom, opportunity, and hope are the new currency of the land despite the best efforts of al-Qaeda to instill tyranny, oppression, and fear.

Obviously, there's still a long way to go in helping Iraq, helping leaders start leading, and preparing for US disengagement. But frankly, I'm impressed at how much progress has been made in such a short time.

(Via Dr. Grant 5/12/04)

Update: After I posted this, I realized it would be good if I did a bit of fact checking, rather than just relying on Dr. Grant being a good source. What I found out is that this letter *was* verified by several media sources (and Snopes!) as being written by National Guardsman Ray Reynolds, SFC, Iowa Army National Guard, 234th Signal Battalion. His sources for the information included personal observation, USAID Fact Sheet, Influential Iraqis and the Police Chief of Baghdad.


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Reality check from The Rough Woodsman
As insurgents resist, terrorists plot and kill, politicians debate, and critics and/or advocates of change in Iraq wrangle over a future government there, one conclusion seems to be more and more inevitable: Iraq is on the road to self-government and... [Read More]

Tracked on May 13, 2004 12:26 AM


This one floored me:

"Over 4.5 million people now have clean drinking water for the first time ever. "

Oh, I thought this was the oppressive but peaceful and civilized country that was doing tolerably well despite its bad governance until we messed with it in the 80's. "Ever" does not tell the tale of sanctions. And 4.5 million is a really big number when you're talking about potable water.


Posted by: pentamom at May 12, 2004 06:12 PM

So if Planned Parenthood fed the homeless, built homes for the underprivileged, sponsored youth sports teams, provided healthcare to children, and built roads in poor rural counties would their presence in our culture be a good thing?

Even the horrible Nazis did great things for Germany (the reference I hear the most often is that Hitler rebuilt the infrastructure after the deimation of WWI). So were they good?

And to bring it back home to the US, the early white settlers gave the Native Americans blankets for the winter... which introduced smallpox to a people never before exposed, killing many of them.

A few good deeds cannot cover up the fact that we don't belong there.

To look at it another way:

How many millions of American children don't have access to any healthcare? Yet we've taken care of Iraqi children *with our tax dollars*.

How many American schools are dilapidated buildings, filled with texts from the Cold War era? Yet we've printed new books for Iraqi children *with our tax dollars*.

How many millions of Americans don't have safe drinking water due to old lead pipes, municipal system leakages, or governmental neglect (my own city's water contains more toxins than recommended by the gov't and is very near the threshold for what is considered unsafe)? Yet we've improved Iraqi water systems *with our tax dollars*.

How many millions of Californians dealt with rolling blackouts a year and a half ago, and are still paying astronomical prices for both gasoline and home energy because of a supposed lack of energy producing facilities in the state? Yet we've upgraded Iraqi electricity systems *with our tax dollars*.

I could go on and on. But someone else has done some of the leg work. The Media Fund says it best in their ad, available for viewing at
http://www.mediafund04.org/ Click on "It's About Priorities" to view the ad. Further, if you click on "Get the Facts" directly under the picture denoting that ad, it carefully documents the numbers involved. At a time when the President wants another $25 million of OUR money, maybe we should look at what kind of steward he has been of our treasury so far.

Just some food for thought.

Posted by: AutMom at May 13, 2004 06:55 AM

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