Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Iraq



Since the Iraqi Elections are tomorrow I thought I would highlight some of the positive things that are happening there. The MSM keeps us up to date on all the negatives and even makes some up so this blog will err on the side of being encouraging and postitive.

The first item I have is a personal story that is from a friend of a friend. I got permission to post it here as long as there were no names mentioned.

"Because I can't stop smiling. . .
. .I have to tell you all the most awesome thing I've heard in months. Today I had breakfast with my friend who is Iraqi. She and her family fled Iraq when she was very young because her uncles and a bunch of other relatives had already been killed in an ethnic cleansing campaign. She hasn't seen her country in twenty years, but she still loves it very much. This morning she was late to breakfast, which is totally not like her, and when she came in she was grinning from ear to ear and her index finger was purple. That's the symbol of support for voting in Iraq because, in order to prevent voter fraud, the poll workers dip your finger in purple ink once you've received a ballot. When she walked in this morning, she grabbed my arm (which is way strange for her--she's even less touchy-feely than I am), shook me and said, "I did it! I voted!" And then she hugged me and both of us burst into tears.

Guys, this is SO huge. For her to be allowed to vote in a free election for the first time in her life is so amazing I can't even express it. She went to the polling place at 6:30 this morning because she wanted to be there when the doors opened, and at 8am both she and her 57-year-old mother voted for the very first time in their lives.

Last time, more than 60% of the country turned out to vote, and they expect numbers to be even higher this time because the promised attacks from last time fell so short. Those of you who pray, please keep the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi and coalition soldiers who will guard the polling places in your prayers for the election on Thursday."


Apparently people in the U.S. and all over the world were allowed to vote in the Iraqi elections yesterday as long as they are still Iraqi citizens. Very cool story.

The second item is some positive things that were reported by ABC News of all places.

Dec. 12, 2005 —"Surprising levels of optimism prevail in Iraq with living conditions improved, security more a national worry than a local one, and expectations for the future high. But views of the country's situation overall are far less positive, and there are vast differences in views among Iraqi groups — a study in contrasts between increasingly disaffected Sunni areas and vastly more positive Shiite and Kurdish provinces.

An ABC News poll in Iraq, conducted with Time magazine and other media partners, includes some remarkable results: Despite the daily violence there, most living conditions are rated positively, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead.

Campaigning Stops a Day Ahead of Iraq Vote
Iraq's Wolf Brigade Said to Be Effective, at Times Brutal
Securing the Election
Surprisingly, given the insurgents' attacks on Iraqi civilians, more than six in 10 Iraqis feel very safe in their own neighborhoods, up sharply from just 40 percent in a poll in June 2004. And 61 percent say local security is good — up from 49 percent in the first ABC News poll in Iraq in February 2004.

Nonetheless, nationally, security is seen as the most pressing problem by far; 57 percent identify it as the country's top priority. Economic improvements are helping the public mood.

Average household incomes have soared by 60 percent in the last 20 months (to $263 a month), 70 percent of Iraqis rate their own economic situation positively, and consumer goods are sweeping the country. In early 2004, 6 percent of Iraqi households had cell phones; now it's 62 percent. Ownership of satellite dishes has nearly tripled, and many more families now own air conditioners (58 percent, up from 44 percent), cars, washing machines and kitchen appliances.

Life In Iraq: Percent Saying Good

In Your Life 70%
For Country 44%

There are positive political signs as well. Three-quarters of Iraqis express confidence in the national elections being held this week, 70 percent approve of the new constitution, and 70 percent — including most people in Sunni and Shiite areas alike — want Iraq to remain a unified country.

Interest in politics has soared.

Preference for a democratic political structure has advanced, to 57 percent of Iraqis, while support for an Islamic state has lost ground, to 14 percent (the rest, 26 percent, chiefly in Sunni Arab areas, favor a "single strong leader.")

Whatever the current problems, 69 percent of Iraqis expect things for the country overall to improve in the next year — a remarkable level of optimism in light of the continuing violence there. However, in a sign of the many challenges ahead, this optimism is far lower in Sunni Arab-dominated provinces, where just 35 percent are optimistic about the country's future."


Ofcourse the article went on to list a bunch of negatives also. It wouldn't be an article from the MSM if they didn't. If you would like to read the whole article go here.

The third item is a good article by Thomas Sowell. Here are some excerpts:

"Our troops can kill ten times as many of the enemy as they kill and it just isn't news worth featuring, if it is mentioned at all, in much of the media. No matter how many towns are wrested from the control of the terrorists by American or Iraqi troops, it just isn't front-page news like the casualty reports or even the doom-saying of some politicians.


The fact that these doom-saying politicians have been proved wrong, again and again, does not keep their latest outcries from overshadowing the hard-won victories of American troops on the ground in Iraq.

The doom-sayers claimed that terrorist attacks would make it impossible to hold the elections last January because so many Iraqis would be afraid to go vote. The doom-sayers urged that the elections be postponed.


But a higher percentage of Iraqis voted in that election — and in a subsequent election — than the percentage of Americans who voted in last year's Presidential elections.


Utter ignorance of history enables any war with any casualties to be depicted in the media as an unmitigated disaster.
Even after Nazi Germany surrendered at the end of World War II, die-hard Nazi guerrilla units terrorized and assassinated both German officials and German civilians who cooperated with Allied occupation authorities.


But nobody suggested that we abandon the country. Nobody was foolish enough to think that you could say in advance when you would pull out or that you should encourage your enemies by announcing a timetable.


There has never been the slightest doubt that we would begin pulling troops out of Iraq when it was feasible. Only time and circumstances can tell when that will be. And only irresponsible politicians and the media think otherwise."

17 comments:

jgf said...

The pics say it all.

bigwhitehat said...

Awesome.
I love Purple fingers.

James Manning said...

I actually hope things end well for the people of Iraq. But I'm a cynic by nature so I have to ask a couple of questions.

When did you all come to care so much about the lives of the Iraqi people? Was it when Saddam smashed the Shiite uprising after the first gulf war? Was it during the time Rumsfeld was selling arms to Saddam to fight Iran while at the same time murdering the Kurds? When this benevolence towards the Iraqi people occur?

And why the Iraqis and not the millions that are dying in Sudan where the last count tolled 400,000 dead. No one is going to war for their sake. 2.6 million Africans die every year from AIDS/HIV. No one goes to war for their sake.

I have actually discussed joining a Christian mission to Africa. I should hope when this is all over Americans will turn their attention to other persecuted people around the world and look to provide the same support we are providing for the Iraqi people. Hopefully, we won’t wait until a President tells us to give a damn before we start giving a damn. But I have little hope of that. But maybe that’s just the cynic in me.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Jgf: You are right. Thanks for stopping by. I noticed on Patrick's blog that we scored the same on the animal personality :-).

BWH: Me, too.

James: Ah James, where do I start? #1-- yes, you are a cynic. #2--I think we started caring about Iraq when Saddam decided to invade Kuwait. Granted if George Bush Sr. hadn't of cared so much about the liberals and the UN's approval we might've taken care of Saddam then. But we didn't. The UN gave Saddam 17 resolutions, THAT IS 17!!!! chances to avoid war and he didn't.

"In 1991, Saddam Hussein signed a binding agreement of surrender as a precondition to the cessation of Gulf War hostilities -- the subsequent violation of which is, in effect, grounds to resume the military campaign against Iraq. A decade of Clintonian "foreign policy" and seventeen UN resolutions later, the UN General Assembly continued debate this week on -- we suppose -- the futility of its resolutions." That is a quote by Mark Alexander about why Iraq.

James, I will grant you that there are many other countries where human rights abuses are rampant. But we can only do so much. Saddam had continued to violate an agreement that he had signed. Dealing with Iraq meant protecting the American people (and the world) and the Iraqi people at the same time.

We can't intervene in all countries where there are human rights abuses but I am all for doing what we can. And I do care.

Also, pleaaaaaaaaase stop bringing up Rumsfeld selling arms to Iraq. We all know the government was trying to choose the lesser of 2 evils and they didn't know at the time how evil Saddam was.

Mr. Grey Ghost said...

James fails to mention that President Bush has given billions of dollars to Africa to help with food, debt, homes and the AIDS crisis, but that''s to be expected.

Great article Miss Chatterbox, cant put in words how important it is fo us to keep being reminded how these people are risking their lives to vote, something they couldnt do under the Saddam regime.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

GG: Thanks & awesome, awesome points!!!

Revka said...

Chatter,
WOW, Great response to James' comment. I could see James' concern about why we are caring so much now, but you answered that very eloquently, and much better than I could have! (That is mainly because I only have a few seconds to spend online lately, when I get on).
Gotta boogie, Jake is crying.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Thanks, Rebecca!

sandy said...

I don't see why it should matter as to when we started caring. It should only matter that we do.

I bet someone out there knows how much aid we have given to countrys like Africa (I don't so don't ask).

There is only so much we can do.
We have a very good chance of accomplishing some good in Iraq.

ABFreedom said...

Excellent LMC... and I wish them all a happy and peaceful election. The sooner their stable, the sooner everyone comes home...

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Sandy & Abfreedom: Some good points.

James Manning said...

Mr. Grey,

The one time I applauded Bush was when he made is speech on the African pandemic. It will be the one thing that he has done that I will give him credit for. So, I should not forget to include that in my rants.

Again, I am hoping that things work out in Iraq. I'm not happy at how we went in and I'm not happy about the way he conducted the post-war effort.

But I read the articles and I get the emails about what is happening in other countries and not a peep from America. And how the UN is afraid to call what is happening in Sudan genocide is beyond me. I won't get into my distaste of the UN. The US has given a lot of economic and medical support to Africa. The problem is the AID never gets to the people. That's not our fault, that is the fault of the corrupt governments. I will blog more on this because there is a lot there.

And I do believe that we could do more that would not call for invasions. I'm going to leave it along now.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

James: I will wholeheartedly agree with you on having distaste for the UN. I need to do some posts on them in the future. I view them as completely ineffective and corrupt. I also don't understand why they are doing NOTHING about the Sudan. And I too am frustrated about how all the money we pour into these 3rd world countries doesn't make it to the actual people. That is exactly the problem. How do we help them when they have corrupt dictators and governments that keep the money and let their own people starve?

James Manning said...

You are on point LMC. We can't just hand money over to these countries because it is not working. I tend to part ways with my Liberal friends when it comes to this topic. I'm not for writing checks to the UN or to corrupt African countries until they clean house.

I might be more of a Rightie than you when it comes to the UN. I find them useless for the most part. And I have always agreed that American troops should never be under the command of the UN. Period.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

James: Thanks. I don't think you could be farther right than I am on the UN though :-). I'm pretty much of the opinion that we should kick them out of NY. Real reform seems pretty unlikely.

Rebekah said...

Love that post! Do you mind if I use one of those pictures?

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Rebekah: The pics are awesome. Go for it!