Every evening, when you settle in to your easy chair and flip on the nightly news with, say, NBC, ABC or CBS, all you hear is gloom and doom about the Iraq war effort. I thought it might be nice to tell you a few positive things that are happening in Iraq, brought about mainly by the presence there of our brave men and women in the military.
Currently, 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq. This alone indicates that the neighboring governments see a stabilization in process. The Iraqi government has 1.2 million new hires. The educational system is on the mend with the renovation of 3,100 new schools. An additional 364 schools are under rehabilitation; 263 new schools are now under construction; and 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq.
All of Iraq's 20 universities, 46 colleges and 4 research centers are now fully operational. Also, 25 Iraqi students recently departed for the United States to participate in our Fulbright Scholarship Program.
The Iraqi Navy is operational with five 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment. The Iraqi Air Force has three squadrons, which include 9 reconnaissance and 3 U.S. C-130 transport planes, which operate day and night.
Their government is currently negotiating a contract to obtain 16 UH-1 combat helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers. Iraq has developed a counter-terrorist unit, and the Iraqi police employ more than 55,000 fully trained, and equipped,officers. They have built 5 new police academies which graduate approximately 3,500 new officers each week.
The infrastructure is a great concern for Iraq, and to address these concerns, there are 1,100 new building projects ongoing in Iraq to replace the ones destroyed by terrorists. Construction has begun on 67 public health clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations for both commercial and public use, 22 new oil producing facilities, 93 water treatment plants and 69 electrical facilities.
Health, as you might imagine, is a major concern also. To that end, the government has initiated a vaccination program, which, to date, has administered vaccinations to 96 percent of Iraqi children under the age of 5. Four million newly vaccinated children will enroll in primary school in mid-October.
In the area of communications, Iraqis now have their own (75 independent) radio stations, as well as 180 free press newspapers and 10 free standing television stations. Iraqi citizens possess more than 1,192,000 cell phones, which constitutes a 158 percent rise in cell phone use since the occupation of U.N. forces (our guys and gals).
The Baghdad Stock Exchange has re-opened for trading. Politics is alive and well in Iraq, and just recently, two candidates for president had a televised debate.
You didn't know all this, did you? However, you did know that suspected terrorists are being horribly tortured at Abu Ghraib prison by our ugly soldiers. And you heard about all the suicide bombings? And you did hear that Osama Bin Laden is alive and well and threatening as usual? You did hear the Democrats boo-hooing the war, demanding our immediate withdrawal?
The burning question is this: Why won't the major news networks accent the positive in Iraq?
Here are a few of my opinions about it. A) The liberal media hate George Bush with a passion; B) The liberal media is, and always has been, a propaganda tool for the Left; C) The liberal media's agenda is to undermine the world's perception of the U.S., thus minimizing U.N. support (what a joke); D) Brian Williams, Charles Gibson and Katie Couric are closet socialists. No, wait, hold up, strike the word "closet" in the last sentence.
James Studdard is an attorney. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.