What you haven’t heard | AspenTimes.com

What you haven’t heard

Dear Editor:I am enclosing something of great interest of what has been going on in Iraq that we do not see or hear on television. The following is for those who are adamant about a timetable, and for Sue Gray who insists we should have left Saddam Hussein in power.Did you know? How could we?Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq?That the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?That 3,100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 new schools are now under construction, and 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq?That Iraq’s higher educational structure consists of 20 universities, 46 institutes or colleges and four research centers, all currently operating?That 25 Iraqi students departed for the United States in January 2005 for the reestablished Fulbright program?That the Iraqi navy is operational? They have five 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.That Iraq’s air force consists of three operational squadrons, which includes nine reconnaissance and three U.S. C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and four Bell Jet Rangers?That Iraq has a counterterrorist unit and a commando battalion?That the Iraqi police service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?That there are five police academies in Iraq that produce over 3,500 new officers each eight weeks?There are more than 1,100 building projects going on in Iraq that include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.That 96 percent of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first two series of polio vaccinations?That 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid-October?That there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq, and phone use has gone up 158 percent?That Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?That the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?That two candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate recently?Of course we didn’t know! Why didn’t we know? Our media wouldn’t tell us!Tragically, the lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two purposes:It is intended to undermine the world’s perception of the United States thus minimizing consequent support, and it is intended to discourage American citizens.These are facts you overlooked, Sue Gray. Many people are living a better life in Iraq today than when Saddam Hussein was in power.The Iraqis are making it, but you wouldn’t know it from reports from our mainstream media. We need to stay there to help them and to protect our American citizens who are working side by side with them to help rebuild their country.Cynthia BartoshLas Vegas


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