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The Tentacle


December 9, 2003

There’s News, And Then There Is News

John W. Ashbury

We frequently get email that is just for the purpose of chatting. I recently received the following, and having checked on some of the “facts” contained and found them to be true, it occurred to me that others might be interested.

The providers of news have, for the most part, tight schedules, and frequently less time and space than they would like to have available. So often some really good news is left out because problems bring readers and viewers, and therefore advertisers who pay the bills.

So here goes with some news you may not have heard. Of course, be warned that some of the “facts” may not be “factual” as this came through the internet.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May ...the first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty;

... more than 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens;

...nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning;

.. the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent;

...on Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts-exceeding the prewar average;

...all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools;

… by October 1, coalition forces had rehabbed over 1,500 schools - 500 more than their target;

... teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries;

...all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open;

...doctors’ salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam;

...pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons;

...the coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq's children;

...a coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals. They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women;

...the coalition has restored over three-quarters of prewar telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production;

...the wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns;

...95 percent of all prewar bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily;

... Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses;

...the central bank is fully independent;

... Iraq has one of the world's most growth-oriented investment and banking laws;

... Iraq (has) a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years;

...satellite dishes are legal;

...foreign journalists aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for minders and other government spies;

... there is no Ministry of Information;

...there are more than 170 newspapers publishing;

... you can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner;

...foreign journalists, and everyone else, are free to come and go;

...a nation that had not one single element-legislative, judicial or executive--of a representative government, does;

...in Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman;

...today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country;

... 25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq's history, run the day-to-day business of government;

...the Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the U.N. General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world;

...Shia religious festivals that were all but banned aren't;

... for the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam;

...the coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of (a) strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq;

...Uday and Queasy are dead - and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to his zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games;

...children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government;

...political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam;

...millions of longsuffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror;

...Saudis will hold municipal elections;

... Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents;

...Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms;

and … the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an Iranian -- a Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for democracy and for peace

A lot of comment could be made over “facts” such as these, but I will leave it to you to make your own.

It’s just very interesting to me, someone who has been in journalism for more than 40 years, that information like what is recorded above hasn’t reached the main stream media in America. Well, maybe it has and I just plain missed it.



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