Thursday, December 21, 2006

List of Iraq successes

BDE3TACP on AOL posted this:

"Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...

... The first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty.
... Over 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 rehab-ed over 1,500 schools - 500 more than scheduled.
... Teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
... All 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.
... Doctor's 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 which now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.
... We have restored over three-quarters of prewar telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.
... There are 4,900 full-service telephone connections. We expect 50,000 by year-end.
... 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 TV 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.
... 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 now 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 UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.
... Shiva religious festivals that were all but banned, aren't anymore.
... 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 the zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games, or murdering critics.
... 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 long-suffering 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.
... 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.
.. Saddam is gone.
... Iraq is free.
….Terrorists are being drawn to an arena in which our military can kill or capture them
Sovereignty is restored to Iraq"


Frank Staheli said...

Excellent list of accomplishments! Where did this originate? I've linked to this post on Serving Iraq, entitled "Iraq's Economy Makes a Comeback".

Sang J. Moon said...

This was one of the things posted on AOL's news forums. I list the AOL user's ID, BDE3TACP, but I don't remember seeing anything in its profile. It's understandable considering the type of crowd that unmoderated forums about the War in Iraq usually attract.

Shaggy said...

Since you've commented on my blog, I just had to return the pleasure :)

I just can't agree with all the points made:

...Even if on Monday, October 6 power generation spiked above pre-war levels, I'm fairly confident in thinking that the weekly average of power generation today remains below what it was.

...While all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges, attendance levels are at an all-time low in Baghdad.

...You really ought to see the so-called rehabilitated schools because they are rather shoddy. And it's not the US's fault, the Iraqi contractors that they hire who take a 10,000 dollar contract and do a job that's worth 1,000.

...That teachers salaries have risen is true but have they been keeping up with inflation rates? I don't think so.

...And as for doctors, one doctor told me that even though the salaries prior to the war were awful, the bonuses on the other hand were very good and did well to compensate (the stats you provide probably didn't take the bonuses into consideration). And again I believe that the rise of salaries has failed to measure up to those of inflation.

...That "Foreign journalists (and everyone else) are free to come and go."... Come on, you got be kidding me, the only place they're free to go is the Kurdish north or the green zone and the such or as embeds. Any foreigner can't stay in one place for over ten minutes without the potential threat of getting killed looming over him or her.

..."... Political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam." but instead the same happens now for disagreeing with Muqtada Al-Sadr for example.

... "Millions of long-suffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror." So having a car bomb blow off every day in the capital or the risk of being kidnapped doesn't fall into living in perpetual terror?

..."Terrorists are being drawn to an arena in which our military can kill or capture them" Yeah and it's creating more terrorists by the day too.

And as a person living in Baghdad I'm rather sceptical of some of the other things said. And in addition a lot of things are just a matter of course since the trade sanctions have been lifted. The removal of which is the second best thing achieved, the first best thing being a chance at democracy.

I might not of even bothered commenting if you had put in your opinion to all of the above, but since you didn't I can only guess that you agree with it all.

I appreciate the effort that the US troops (of which BDE3TACP is probably one of) who do their best to help the Iraqis despite of everything. I just don't think it's fair on the troops to create such high expectations of what they've come to do any more, and neither does it help to try and exaggerate what they have achieved here. I think everyone should rather acknowledge that they've done and are doing the best job possible and that they can't help it if people's expectations weren't met.

Sang J. Moon said...

For electricity, you are correct about Baghdad, but the rest of Iraq is experiencing better than Saddam level electricity availability as shown in the electricity table at the following link:

Pretty much everything you say about Baghdad is correct, but about 3/4 of Iraqis live outside of Baghdad, so they should have proportional representation when talking of Iraq as a whole.

I agree we should state achievements as they are. The trouble is that the media in the USA is decidedly anti-Bush and against the Iraq war. Posts like what I copied here are far and few between. The exaggeration is decidedly in the opposite direction.

Shaggy said...

I just took a look at that link. And on page 31 it says that the estimated prewar average amount of electricity generated nation-wide is 3,958 megawatts and in December of 2006 is is 3,500 megawatts.

The point is that we're not under trade sanctions any more so bringing electricity generation shouldn't be such a big problem to fix as it was before the war. And talk of sabotage on power lines and step-down converters, shouldn't that simply effect the distribution and not the generation itself?

Besides, don't think I'm directly blaming the Americans or Bush for this, blame should first fall on the Iraqi leadership.

Sang J. Moon said...

The trouble with electrical generation is that if there isn't enough distribution for the electricity generated, the generation plant(s) have to step down generation or risk damaging the plant. So by sabotaging the distribution, it forced the generation down as well. This is why blackouts occur in houses not disconnected by sabotage. The sabotage decreases the distribution capacity which causes a surge in generation which then automatically triggers a shutdown of the plant(s) before permanent damage can occur to the plant(s). It then takes time to spin up the generators again.

Shaggy said...

Your explanation to black outs is absolutely correct. But we don't suffer from sudden blackouts here in Iraq. We have scheduled electricity cuts.

Sang J. Moon said...

Yes. Ever since the US started the handover of the electricity maintenance to the elected Iraqi government, the transition of the responsibility hasn't gone smooth resulting slower than usual bureaucracy in repair and maintenance of the grid mainly due to the ministry's concern for the safety of its workers. Compounding this has been sabotage, wear and tear, and the greater influx of electricity using products like refridgerators and air conditioners which causes demand to increase. Rolling blackouts are difficult enough on a stable grid, but with one with ever changing grid demand and capacity makes it a challenge I don't envy. The following Washington Post articles lists the details:

I find it interesting that about a year ago, electricity was a greater gripe than anything else.