|By enal eneg (enduser5.faa.gov - 188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 2:50 pm: Edit Post|
This is an excellent reason to vote for President Bush, and not for Kerry. But of course, the media and most RPCV's don't want to hear this kind of news, because it does not support their agendas. Read the below very closely before you vote- - - -and please don't embarass yourself by writing something crude or inappropriate about the soldier who wrote it. He and every other of our brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, and colleagues that are fighting for freedom and peace deserve better than to have comments made to or about them like some that have been made in this forum. Let's show them the respect they need and deserve for once. Now read - - -
Subject: A letter from a medic in Iowa, serving in Iraq
As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who did not believe the media. They have done a very poor job of covering everything that has happened. I am sorry that I have not been able to visit all of you during my two week leave back home.
And just so you can rest at night knowing something is happening in Iraq that is noteworthy, I thought I would pass this on to you. This is the list of things that has happened in Iraq recently:
* Over 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.
* School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.
* Over 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of the weapons stored there so education can occur.
* The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off-loaded from ships faster.
* The country had its first 2 billion barrel export of oil in August.
* Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever in Iraq.
* The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did before the war.
* 100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to 35% before the war.
* Elections are taking place in every major city, and city councils are in place.
* Sewer and water lines are 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.
* Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of germs.
* An interim constitution has been signed.
* Girls are allowed to attend school.
* Textbooks that don't mention Saddam are in the schools for the first time in 30 years.
Don't believe for one second that these people do not want us there. I have met many, many people from Iraq that want us there, and in a bad way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but they hope their children will. We are doing a good job in Iraq and I challenge anyone, anywhere to dispute me on these facts. So If you happen to run into John Kerry, be sure to give him my email address and send him to Denison, Iowa. This soldier will set him straight. If you are like me and very disgusted with how this period of rebuilding has been portrayed,
email this to a friend and let them know there are good things happening.
Ray Reynolds, SFC
Iowa Army National Guard
234th Signal Battalion
|By RPCV (184.108.40.206) on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 3:35 pm: Edit Post|
Actually, I believe most RPCVs do want to know what is being accomplished. And I'm sure virtually all appreciate and respect the soldiers working and fighting to achieve this progess.
However, President Bush's administration has achieved a rather mixed record, a pattern of often myopic planning and failure of leadership at the top. Experts and advisors anticipated many of the problems that have evolved and could have been more effectively mitigated (not necessarily avoided).
It started with the looting of Baghdad and its unfortunate impact on public perception and support in Iraq, in the US and throughout the world. Looting and the attendant secuirty issues had been anticipated well before the war started. We DID need more soldiers on the ground, and that could have been accomplished without compromising the positives of a leaner, faster occupation.
WMD and al Queda ties were the primary rationals for going to war. There are no WMD in Iraq and the terrorists opportunistically entered the country during the "fog of war". It was NOT necessary to start this war in 2003, after having built up forces in the region to the point of no return. Yes, Sadam needed to be removed. However, this could have been accomplished with a real international effort, and there's no convincing reason for not having done so.
It would have been advantageous to achieve more progress in Afghanistan and on the international coordination of combatting terrorism before taking action in Iraq. This approach was anticipated and advised by many within and outside the administration well in advance of the actual war in Iraq.
The abuse of prisoners in Iraq came about as a result of a failure in command. We based our war on high morale standards. The message and/or lack of leadership from the top led to the failure of meeting those standards within the prison system, and it has hurt the US effort. This is why the world's indignation over the abuse of these prisoners will have more impact than the world's indignation over the beheading and murder of a US citizen by terrorists. Unfortunate but true.
We'll need a new president capable of restoring respect and effective leadership in the world. I'll be voting for Kerry. He will see the Iraq and Afghanistan efforts (war and sustainable development assistance) through, as we must follow through on US commitments.